Thursday, June 11th 2020

Jim Keller Resigns from Intel

Intel today announced that systems designer-extraordinaire Jim Keller has departed the company citing personal reasons. Whether or not this is a blow to Intel likely depends on how far Jim Keller brought their Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group throughout his two-year tenure at the company whilst serving as its Vice President. The semiconductor and chip architecture world isn't being driven by Mr. Keller himself, obviously; there are a number of architects and designers that bring the industry forward through their concerted efforts. However, it's hard to look past Jim Keller's pedigree when it comes to doing his job - if anything, AMD's Zen architecture is a testament to that, and has put Intel in the place we now see it in the CPU world.

To fill in the void, Intel has announced a reshuffling inside their Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group. Jim Keller will still be serving with Intel for the next six months as a consultant, thus easing the transition. Read the full press-release below.
Today, Intel announced that Jim Keller has resigned effective June 11, 2020, due to personal reasons. Intel appreciates Mr. Keller's work over the past two years helping them continue advancing Intel's product leadership and they wish him and his family all the best for the future. Intel is pleased to announce, however, that Mr. Keller has agreed to serve as a consultant for six months to assist with the transition.

Intel has a vastly experienced team of technical leaders within its Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) under the leadership of Dr. Venkata (Murthy) Renduchintala, group president of TSCG and chief engineering officer. As part of this transition, the following leadership changes will be made, effective immediately:

Sundari Mitra, the former CEO and founder of NetSpeed Systems and the current leader of Intel's Configurable Intellectual Property and Chassis Group, will lead a newly created IP Engineering Group focused on developing best-in-class IP.
Gene Scuteri, an accomplished engineering leader in the semiconductor industry, will head the Xeon and Networking Engineering Group.
Daaman Hejmadi will return to leading the Client Engineering Group focused on system-on-chip (SoC) execution and designing next-generation client, device and chipset products. Hejmadi has over two decades of experience leading teams delivering advanced SoCs both inside and outside of Intel.
Navid Shahriari, an experienced Intel leader, will continue to lead the Manufacturing and Product Engineering Group, which is focused on delivering comprehensive pre-production test suites and component debug capabilities to enable high-quality, high-volume manufacturing.
Intel congratulates Sundari, Gene, Daaman and Navid as we begin the next phase of our world-class engineering organization and look forward to executing on our exciting roadmap of products.
Source: Intel
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114 Comments on Jim Keller Resigns from Intel

#1
ARF
What are the personal reasons ? Will he come back to AMD ?
What had he done at Intel ?

Is x86 dead with reached IPC wall once and forever?

What happens next ?
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#2
Imouto
Probably tired of Intel's shit.
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#3
ARF
Imouto
Probably tired of Intel's shit.
But money? :confused: I bet he got 2 or 3 times more money at Intel than at AMD /just guesstimating.
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#4
thesmokingman
Sinking ship... That's a serious issue if Keller has had enough.
ARF
But money? :confused: I bet he got 2 or 3 times more money at Intel than at AMD /just guesstimating.
I highly doubt its about money. Keller is a rockstar in the semiconductor space.
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#5
dyonoctis
Jim Keller seems to have a very "my job here is done" thing going on. I noticed that he never stick around once he's done his part in cpu design.
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#6
Imouto
ARF
But money? :confused: I bet he got 2 or 3 times more money at Intel than at AMD /just guesstimating.
My best guess is that he is already set for life and will work wherever he wants making nearly as much or even more.
dyonoctis
Jim Keller seems to have a very "my job here is done" thing going on. I noticed that he never stick around once he's done his part in cpu design.
Wouldn't be a consultant for the next six months if that was the case.
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#7
thesmokingman
dyonoctis
Jim Keller seems to have a very "my job here is done" thing going on. I noticed that he never stick around once he's done his part in cpu design.
Two years is kind of short to turn out a new architecture or to even fix their silicon engineering failures. He could have finished his job there but I doubt it. At Tesla he helped build their industry leading neural processor, at AMD Zen architecture. At Intel... don't see much has changed?
Posted on Reply
#8
dj-electric
ARF
What are the personal reasons ? Will he come back to AMD ?
What had he done at Intel ?

Is x86 dead with reached IPC wall once and forever?

What happens next ?
Clearly the personal reasons - are personal.
No one knows if he will come back to AMD
He had developed future-architectures at intel, which most of them will come to light starting 2021 and onwards
Yes, X86 has been dead since 1984, where are we in this giant universe as insignificant beings are how are our eyes real if nothing is real anymore.
What happens next with who? Intel? they will find a replacement. Jim? possibly off to a new adventure.
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#9
ARF
thesmokingman
Two years is kind of short to turn out a new architecture or to even fix their silicon engineering failures. He could have finished his job there but I doubt it. At Tesla he helped build their industry leading neural processor, at AMD Zen architecture. At Intel... don't see much has changed?
He left AMD quite a while (actually a year and a half) before March 2017 when Ryzen 1000 was launched. I think he left once the Zen design work had been largely completed and the colleagues knew how to develop it further to Zen 2, Zen 3, etc..
From September 2015 to today, June 2020, is 5 years, not 2 years.
Posted on Reply
#10
Caring1
Imouto
My best guess is that he is already set for life and will work wherever he wants making nearly as much or even more.
Wouldn't be a consultant for the next six months if that was the case.
Hanging around to iron out any bugs, because .... Intel.
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#11
thesmokingman
ARF
He left AMD quite a while (actually a year and a half) before March 2017 when Ryzen 1000 was launched. I think he left once the Zen design work had been largely completed and the colleagues knew how to develop it further to Zen 2, Zen 3, etc..
From September 2015 to today, June 2020, is 5 years, not 2 years.
You need to double check your facts. He couldn't have joined Intel because he was at Tesla after Zen, duh. He joined Intel in 2018 and left in 2020. And when he left AMD, Zen was completed. The same for Tesla, AFTER the neural processor was completed.
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#12
ARF
thesmokingman
You need to double check your facts. He couldn't have joined Intel because he was at Tesla after Zen, duh. He joined Intel in 2018 and left in 2020. And when he left AMD, Zen was completed. The same for Tesla, AFTER the neural processor was completed.
In this case you are right - I also don't think that he will be able to overjump his own work with Zen.
This is like setting own record at the age of 20, and then trying to improve it at an age of 25 - in many sports it doesn't work.
Posted on Reply
#13
AsRock
TPU addict
ARF
What are the personal reasons ? Will he come back to AMD ?
What had he done at Intel ?

Is x86 dead with reached IPC wall once and forever?

What happens next ?
None of your b wax ?, or any ones for that matter
Trade secret ?. keeping him out of it maybe, dam they should of made him top dog :p.

Some one will figure it out how to improve x86\x64

I guess we will find out some time soon if any thing magical happened.

NVM HA!,
Imouto
Probably tired of Intel's shit.
Well that did not take long at all then hahaha.

In August 2012, Jim Keller returned to AMD, where his primary task was to lead development of new generation of x86-64 and ARM microarchitectures called Zen and K12. After years of being unable to compete with Intel in the high-end CPU market, the new generation of Zen processors is hoped to restore AMD's position in the high-end x86-64 processor market. On September 18, 2015, Keller departed from AMD to pursue other opportunities, ending his three-year employment at AMD.

In January 2016, Keller joined Tesla, Inc. as Vice President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering.

In April 2018, Keller joined Intel. He left Intel in June 2020.
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#15
Caring1
catulitechup

What has Ocean's Eleven got to do with it, try Titanic.
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#16
Fourstaff
Given the past trends, does this mean Intel will have an amazing chip in a couple of years time? He does have a history of leaving just before the launch of amazing chips.
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#17
Caring1
Fourstaff
Given the past trends, does this mean Intel will have an amazing chip in a couple of years time? He does have a history of leaving just before the launch of amazing chips.
Or he gave up trying to change Intel because they are too set in their ways.
Lisa Su was at least amenable.
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#18
mouacyk
Intel and AMD are competitors... my butt.
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#19
thesmokingman
Fourstaff
Given the past trends, does this mean Intel will have an amazing chip in a couple of years time? He does have a history of leaving just before the launch of amazing chips.
If the past is any indication, he has not left a contract until there were results.
Caring1
Or he gave up trying to change Intel because they are too set in their ways.
Lisa Su was at least amenable.
I remember from Jim's lecture at Berkeley EECS, he said AMD was in an awful state. They were near bankruptcy and lotta ppl feared the worse with ppl leaving left and right. He said they more or less just kept moving forward. It would have to have been really bad at Intel for him to leave like that.
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#20
bonehead123
"The Beast at Tanagra"

"Darmok on the ocean"

"Shaka, when the walls fell"

Translation:

He tried to fix them, but finding his efforts being wasted & ignored, ultimately gave up in utter disgust & futility :D
Posted on Reply
#21
Darmok N Jalad
ARF
But money? :confused: I bet he got 2 or 3 times more money at Intel than at AMD /just guesstimating.
With some guys, the money is secondary. Yeah, it probably still needed to be really really good, but if you are really driven by the job, the right fit matters more than the most money.
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#22
Fluffmeister
Shocking news, let's hope the duopoly can survive.
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#23
KainXS
Intel, business wise makes some of the most money wasting choices in the industry so I won't blame him, hell I respect him for his choice.
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#24
moproblems99
Entirely possible he was only training staff. But he usually leaves when design is done. Perhaps he only modified the designs they already had?
ARF
From September 2015 to today, June 2020, is 5 years, not 2 years.
Yes, but when did he start at Intel? Not 5 years ago. Two years ago. Hence why two years is a short time to build an architecture.
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#25
ToxicTaZ
I personally was boosting about Jim Keller here in the forums like a mad man quite a bit.... Now he's gone.....what a shame.... ☹️

I noticed people haven't been talking about his project he was working on for the last 26 months....?

Jim Keller was working on In "Ocean Cove" cores design update for future Intel Meteor Lake which is Intel's first 7nm+ CPUs....

If people don't know Ocean Cove is Intel biggest CPU update coming in two years so very quite important project for Intel and for us consumers.

I wonder how far he's gotten in the Ocean Cove project?....are CPU lines done two years before store shelves?.... I mean they test them in super computers before factory production...not sure how long that process is.... But maybe Ocean Cove is done by this Christmas? I mean just the design part??
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