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Intel Plans to Launch Its Discrete GPU Lineup Starting at $200

During interview with Russian YouTube channel called PRO Hi-Tech, Raja Koduri, Intel's chief architect and senior vice president of architecture, software and graphics, talked about his career, why he left AMD, and where Intel is going with its discrete GPU attempts. However, one of the most notable things Mr Koduri said was regarding upcoming GPU lineup code-named Arctic Sound. He noted that Intel plans to release first GPU as a mid-range model at a price of $200, while enterprise solutions that utilize HBM memory will follow that.

Koduri said that he wants to replicate AMD's strategy of capturing high-volume price-points, such as the $199 Radeon RX 480. The plan here is to bring an affordable, good performing GPU to the masses - "GPUs for everyone" as he calls them. Additionally, he states that Intel's current strategy revolves around price, not performance, providing best possible value to consumers. Intel's approach for the next two or three years is to launch a complete lineup of GPUs, with a common architecture being used for everything from iGPUs found inside consumer CPUs to data-center GPUs.

Update: PRO Hi-Tech has posted a snippet of Raja Koduri interview, without the Russian overlay commentary. What he said was actually: "...Eventually our architecture, as publicly said, has to get from mainstream, which is starting at around $100, all the way to data-center class graphics with HBM memory...". This means that the previous speculation about $200 graphics card is false, as he didn't say that. All he said is that Intel wants to enter the "mainstream" GPU market and work its way up to data center.

Intel Courting Samsung to Manufacture Xe GPUs?

Intel's Xe discrete GPU project head Raja Koduri recently visited a Samsung Electronics silicon fabrication facility in Korea at the backdrop of the company's major 5 nm EUV announcement. This sparks speculation that Koduri could be exploring Samsung's portfolio of sub-10 nm contract-manufacturing offerings to mass-produce Xe discrete GPUs. Intel's own foundry business is reeling with mounting pressure from the company's main breadwinner, the client and enterprise processor businesses, to get its 10 nm node on the road. Koduri's GPU would need to leverage higher transistor densities than what Intel's 10 nm could offer, given that rival AMD is already implementing 7 nm, and NVIDIA is expected to go sub-10 nm with its future generation of GPUs.

Intel Soaks Up Heather Lennon, AMD RTG Digital Marketing Head

Intel has hired another of AMD's top executives as Raja Koduri hopes to basically rebuild RTG under Intel's banner and its resources. This time it's Heather Lennon, who led AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) marketing and had been with AMD for over 10 years. She directed the Team Red community and won PR Week award for Campaign of the Year 2014. Lennon bagged 40 awards for digital marketing for AMD, and is widely believed to be the brains behind the PR upper-hand AMD enjoys among tech forums and the DIY community.

Lennon now joins Intel as Senior Manager, Digital Marketing for Graphics, and will work closely with Mark Taylor, an ex-NVIDIA exec who now leads technical marketing at Intel Graphics. Other ex-AMD and ex-NVIDIA honchos include Chris Hook and Tom Peterson, respectively. Raja Koduri is overseeing Intel's ambitious project to make inroads to the discrete GPU market under the new Xe brand, not just to serve gamers and PC enthusiasts, but more importantly GPU compute, cloud compute, and AI markets. Koduri is also reportedly lending insights to Intel's new Gen11 integrated graphics architecture, which debuts with its 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors.

Intel Graphics Teases a New Gamer-Friendly Control Panel

Intel Graphics switched gears from being integrated graphics solutions for basic 2D desktop and video, to something that could appeal to gamers. The change appears to have been brought about by hiring of Raja Koduri, who led graphics teams at AMD and Apple. Intel discovered that its iGPUs can play many e-Sports games such as PUBG, World of Tanks, Warhammer: Vermitide 2, etc., and so, the company decided to do more for this segment of PC gamers that still games on iGPUs, beginning with regular driver updates that pack game-optimizations, the switch to the new DCH driver model for Windows 10, and apparently, a new Control Panel app designed for gamers.

Teased in a YouTube presentation by Intel Graphics, the Control Panel appears to show a game launcher and settings optimization tool modeled along the lines of GeForce Experience. Intel has also made big changes to the functional bits of the Control Panel, which deal with global display settings, monitor setup, etc. The new Control Panel gives us a direction of where Intel Graphics is headed: it doesn't want to leave behind gamers. The Gen11 iGPU which will be part of the company's 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors already spark rumors of massive 3D performance improvements over current Gen9.5, and reportedly have over 1 TFLOP/s of raw compute power. The company is also working on a discrete GPU lineup under the Xe brand, targeting a variety of market segments, including gamers.
The video presentation by Intel Graphics follows.

Intel Acquires Indian Startup to Strengthen Position in Discrete GPU Tech

Several years ago, Ineda, a small startup from Hyderabad, India made headlines when they developed custom-design processors for use in wearable devices that were optimized for high energy-efficiency, while still having the ability to read out various sensors or listen to voice commands at the same time. Such improvements help increase battery life on devices that people don't want to recharge every day. Over the years the company has received several million dollars in funding from Samsung, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies and others.

Looks like this caused enough attention at chip giant Intel, who's trying to come up with a competitive design for a discrete graphics processor, that's able to take on AMD's and NVIDIA's offerings. While Ineda certainly has patents that could come in useful, it looks like Intel is more interested in the company's manpower. With around 100 engineers, the company has a lot of talent, that's experienced in chip design and how to make these chips energy efficient.

AMD Radeon Technology Group, Senior VP and General Manager, Mike Rayfield to Resign

AMD's Radeon Technology Group (RTG) continues to be in a state of flux, with another executive leaving the company. This time, RTG General Manager and Senior Vice President, Mike Rayfield (pictured on the left below) will be resigning by year's end, marking the second time in a calendar year the group has been devoid of a formal leader. Rayfield previously worked for NVIDIA as the General Manager of their Tegra business unit, and was Vice President and General Manager of Micron's mobile storage business unit prior to that. Having served in all these roles for quite some time, it is somewhat of a surprise to see him leaving AMD so quickly, having only just joined the company back in February 2018. With that said, AMD has said the reason for this departure is so that he can "spend more time with his family and pursue his personal passions".

David Wang (picture on the right below), the current Senior Vice President of Engineering at RTG, will be his interim successor. He already has a storied history at AMD, having worked on ATI/AMD graphics cards as a GPU engineer from the R300 to GCN 1.0 in a time period ranging from the years 2000 to 2012. Under AMD's dual leadership model which was implemented after Raja Koduri's resignation, both Wang and Rayfield have worked together leading the RTG group. Thanks to this, the transition of duties should be relatively smooth even though Wang's role is only temporary, and it will be interesting to see whom AMD picks as Rayfield's long-term successor.

Ex-Hardware.fr GPU Editor Damien Triolet Jumps Ship from AMD RTG to Intel

Oh hey remember this news post from July last year? Damien Triolet's work history off-late has been one of many such recent stories. These tend to begin with AMD, and RTG in particular, getting a cash infusion and growing in 2016 and 2017 to where they hired some of the best engineers and marketing personnel from the industry- media or otherwise. This follows a more stagnant GPU division in 2017-2018, Intel deciding to dip their toes back into the discrete GPU market, and in turn.. persuading many to cross over to the blue side.

According to Damien's LinkedIn and FaceBook profiles, he has started working for Intel from November 26, 2018 in a technical marketing position in their Gaming and Graphics division, a role analogous to his from his days at AMD. Presumably, he joins Raja Koduri and the many others who have followed this exact path of late, and everyone remains curious as to what the finished retail product will be. In the meantime, we here at TechPowerUp wish him the best again for his new venture. We had the pleasure of interacting with Damien on multiple occasions in the past, some as colleagues in the media giving hardware manufacturers a hard time, and others when he was hosting us as an AMD employee. His tenure at Hardware.fr has been inspiring to us, with excellent reviews that no doubt were what caught the eyes of AMD in the first place, and Intel will definitely gain from his presence.

Intel Detailing Their Arctic Sound Discrete GPU This December; Aiming for 2020

According to DigiTimes, Intel's top graphics executive Raja Koduri and other senior Intel partners will be hosting a discrete GPU-focused conference this December. The conference aims to instill confidence in shareholders and customers alike in that Intel is pursuing its high-performance discrete entry into the graphics card market at a fast pace. The GPU architecture, codenamed Arctic Sound, is expected to debut by 2020, aiming for the gaming, AI, and machine learning sectors - much like any GPU solution these days. It remains to be seen which details - if any - can be gleaned from this conference, but we'll keep you up to date when those surface.

Darren McPhee, Former Radeon Marketing Executive, Joins Intel's Discrete Graphics Division

Darren McPhee worked 12 years for ATI and AMD. When he left AMD in 2015, he was one of the company's top marketing managers. For the last three years he has worked for various companies, but the surprise has come with Intel recruiting him to occupy the position of Product Marketing Manager in its 'Discrete Graphics' group, one of the most interesting initiatives in the recent times.

This division is working hard to develop a new family of discrete graphics cards that will theoretically compete with AMD and NVIDIA solutions. Intel has been steadily growing, and in fact Intel already signed Raja Koduri, AMD GPU architect, in November 2017. This firm has been attracting more and more talent from an AMD: Koduri was followed by Jim Keller, Ryzen Architect, and Chris Hook, who led AMD's Radeon Technologies Group Marketing Departmen prior to his move to Intel. These hires certainly make it clear that Intel is taking an increasingly promising project very seriously. We will have to be patient, however, because the firm already indicated in SIGGRAPH 18 that it will have its first models ready in 2020.

Rollercoaster Monday for AMD as it Loses Jim Anderson, Closes Above $25 in Stock Price

It has been a rollercoaster Monday for AMD as it bled yet another bright executive. Jim Anderson, who led Computing and Graphics Group after the departure of Raja Koduri, and who is rumored to have conceived the idea of Threadripper and the client-segment monetization of the "Zen" architecture, left AMD to become CEO of Lattice Semiconductor, a company that designs FPGAs. Anderson will be paid an inducement award of company shares valued up to $2.9 million.

On the same day, AMD stock crossed $25 to close at $25.26 up 5.34 percent, a historic high since way back in 2006 as Intel was beginning to regain its footing with its Core processor family. This raises the company's market cap to $22.9 billion. AMD is better funded than ever (in over 12 years), to start a new GPU project, for example. CTO Mark Papermaster, in a company blog post assured customers that AMD is going all-in with 7 nanometer, and it could bank more heavily on TSMC to achieve its roadmap goals of first-to-market 7 nm CPU and GPU by end of the year.

Intel Teases Their Upcoming Graphics Cards for 2020

Right in time for SIGGRAPH, the world's leading conference for computer graphics, the people around Raja Koduri and Chris Hook have posted a video on Twitter, which shows a teaser for their upcoming graphics cards, that are scheduled to become available in 2020.
The video is produced in a style that's typical for what Chris Hook has been releasing at AMD, too. It starts with a history lesson, praising Intel's achievements in the graphics department, and then continues to promise that in 2020, Intel discrete graphics cards "will be set free, and that's just the beginning".

In the comments for the video, Chris Hook, who left AMD to join Intel as head of marketing for their graphics department said: "Will take time and effort to be the first successful entrant into the dGPU segment in 25 years, but we have some incredible talent at Intel, and above all, a passion for discrete graphics."

You can find the video here.

Intel is Giving up on Xeon Phi - Eight More Models Declared End-Of-Life

Intel's Xeon Phi lineup, which started as Larrabee. has never seen any commercial success in the market despite big promises from the big blue giant that its programming model would be more productive for developers coming from x86. In the meantime, NVIDIA GPUs have taken over the world of supercomputing, with the latest generation Volta decimating Intel Xeon Phi offerings.

Intel's plan was to release a new generation of Xeon Phi called "Knights Hill", on a 10 nanometer process. However, constant delays ramping up 10 nm, paired with generally low demand for Xeon Phi, forced the company to abandon this project. Now the company announces that they are stopping production for eight currently shipping Xeon Phi models.

Raja Hires Larrabee Architect Tom Forsyth to Help With Intel GPU

A few months ago we reported that Raja Koduri has left AMD to work at Intel on their new discrete GPU project. Looks like he's building a strong team, with the most recent addition being Tom Forsyth who is the father of Larrabee, which was Intel's first attempt at making an x86-based graphics processor. While Larrabee did not achieve its goal and is considered a failure by many, it brought some interesting improvements to the world, for example AVX512, and is now sold under the Xeon Phi brand.

Tom, who has previously worked at Oculus, Valve, and 3DLabs posted on Twitter that he's joining Intel in Raja's group, but he's "Not entirely sure what he'll be working on just yet." At Oculus and Valve he worked on Virtual Reality projects, for example he wrote big chunks of the Team Fortress 2 VR support for the Oculus Rift. Taking a look at Tom's papers suggests that he might join the Intel team as lead for VR-related projects, as that's without a doubt one of Raja's favorite topics to talk about.

Intel Could Unveil its Graphics Card at 2019 CES

It looks like Intel is designing its discrete graphics processor at a breakneck pace, by a team put together by Raja Koduri. Its development is moving so fast, that the company could be ready with a working product to show the world by the 2019 International CES, held in early-January next year. Intel's development of a graphics processor is likely motivated by the company's survival instinct to not fall behind NVIDIA and AMD in making super-scalar architectures to cash in on two simultaneous tech-booms - AI and blockchain computing.

A blessing in disguise for gamers is the restoration of competition. NVIDIA has been ahead of AMD in PC graphics processor performance and efficiency since 2014, with the latter only playing catch-up in the PC gaming space. AMD's architectures have proven efficient in other areas, such as blockchain computing. NVIDIA, on the other hand, has invested heavily on AI, with specialized components on its chips called "tensor cores," which accelerate neural-net building and training.

Intel Scores Another Top AMD Exec - Chris Hook Confirmed to Join Company

Chris Hook, the head of marketing at AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), who resigned from AMD a few weeks ago, joined Intel. Hook will hold the position of head of discrete graphics marketing, confirming rumors of Intel making heavy investments into the development of a discrete GPU that can double up as a super-scalar processor, enabling the company to compete with NVIDIA and AMD for slices of the AI and blockchain computing gold-rush, with PC gaming as a fallback market. Jim Keller, Raja Koduri, and Chris Hook make up key names from AMD to have joined Intel in recent times. Keller was the lead architect of AMD "Zen," who after a brief stint at Tesla, joined Intel earlier this month.

Ryzen Architect Jim Keller Joins Intel

Jim Keller, the VLSI guru who led the team behind AMD's spectacular comeback in the x86 processor market with "Zen," has reportedly quit his job at Tesla to join AMD's bête noire, Intel. Following his work on "Zen," Keller had joined Tesla to work on self-driving car hardware. Keller joins Raja Koduri at Intel, the other big former-AMD name, who led Radeon Technologies Group (RTG).

PC Perspective comments that big names like Keller and Koduri joining Intel could provide clues as to Intel's current state and the direction it's heading in. The company appears to be in a state of shake-up from a decade of complacency and lethargy in its core business. Koduri could be putting together a team of people familiar to him for a new clean-slate project. The last time Intel had a clean slate was ten years ago, with "Nehalem."

Intel Unveils Discrete GPU Prototype Development

Intel is making progress in its development of a new discrete GPU architecture, after its failed attempt with "Larrabee" that ended up as an HPC accelerator; and ancient attempts such as the i740. This comes in the wake of the company's high-profile hiring of Raja Koduri, AMD's former Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) head. The company unveiled slides pointing to the direction in which its GPU development is headed, at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. That direction is essentially scaling up its existing iGPU architecture, and bolstering it with mechanisms to sustain high clock speeds better.

The company's first 14 nm dGPU prototype, shown as a test-chip at the ISSCC, is a 2-chip solution. The first chip contains two key components, the GPU itself, and a system agent; and the second chip is an FPGA that interfaces with the system bus. The GPU component, as it stands now, is based on Intel's Gen 9 architecture, and features a three execution unit (EU) clusters. Don't derive numbers from this yet, as Intel is only trying to demonstrate a proof of concept. The three clusters are wired to a sophisticated power/clock management mechanism that efficiently manages power and clock-speed of each individual EU. There's also a double-clock mechanism that doubles clock speeds (of the boost state) beyond what today's Gen 9 EUs can handle on Intel iGPUs. Once a suitable level of energy efficiency is achieved, Intel will use newer generations of EUs, and scale up EU counts taking advantage of newer fab processes, to develop bigger discrete GPUs.
More slides follow.

Intel Could Ditch AMD dGPU Die on Future Core G-series MCMs with "Arctic Sound"

Intel did the impossible in 2017, by collaborating with rival AMD after decades, on a product. The new Core i7-8000G series processors are multi-chip modules that combine quad-core "Kaby Lake" CPU dies with discrete AMD Radeon Vega GPU dies that have their own dedicated HBM2 stacks. With performance-segment notebooks and sleek AIO desktops building momentum for such products, Intel sees a future in building its own discrete GPUs, at least dies that can replace the AMD Radeon IP from its Core G-series processors.

With former AMD Graphics head Raja Koduri switching to Intel amidst rumors of the company investing in discrete GPUs of its own, details emerge of the company's future "Arctic Sound" and "Jupiter Sound" graphics IP, which point to the possibility of them being discrete GPU dies based on the Gen 12 and Gen 13 graphics architectures, respectively. According to Ashraf Eassa, a technology stock commentator with "The Motley Fool," both "Arctic Sound" and "Jupiter Sound" are discrete GPU dies that connect with Intel processor dies over EMIB, the company's proprietary high-density interconnect for multi-chip modules. It could be a long wait leading up to the two, since the company is still monetizing its Gen 9.5 architecture on 8th generation Core processors.

Next Major AMD Driver Release, ReLive Redux, to Include Performance OSD

Every year, AMD regales its users with a new major version of their driver suite, with added features and, usually, increased performance. In 2015, AMD introduced the Radeon Crimson driver release, which included a hefty performance package for some major titles, the new Radeon Settings design interface, and increased stability over the previous mega-release, Catalyst Omega. Last year, we were treated to the introduction of the ReLive, LiquidVR, and Radeon Chill features. AMD is keeping up with its annual overhauls, even after former RTG head, Raja Koduri, left the company for bluer pastures.

Twitter user Blaze #BlazeK_AMDRT shared some screenshots over Twitter which show that the new driver release will, among other things, include an OSD for performance metrics - not unlike what NVIDIA is offering with its GeForce Experience suite. However, AMD will likely keep ringing the "no registration necessary" bell to increase attractiveness of its software suite over NVIDIA's. From the screenshots, however, it seems that AMD's suite will offer more registers than NVIDIA, to polls like VRAM, CPU usage, among others. AMD's track record with software and drivers has been much improved since Raja Koduri took the helms of RTG, with a much steadier driver release schedule, and pre-emptive releases introducing support for the latest and greatest games. It's at least comforting to see that there's no sign of that reverting after he left the company.

Intel Hires Raja Koduri, to Develop Discrete GPUs, This Time for Real

Intel hired Raja Koduri, who resigned as head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), earlier this week. Koduri has been made Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of Intel's future discrete GPUs. That's right, Intel has renewed its dreams to power high-end graphics cards that compete with AMD and NVIDIA. Intel's last attempt at a discrete GPU was "Larrabee," which evolved into a super-scalar multi-core processor for HPC applications under the Xeon Phi line.

This development heralds two major theories. One, that Intel's collaboration with AMD RTG on graphics IP could only go further from here, and what is a multi-chip module of Intel and AMD IP now, could in the future become a true heterogeneous die of Intel's and AMD's IP. Two, that the consolidation of AMD's graphics assets and IP into a monolithic entity as RTG, could make it easier to sell it lock, stock, and barrel, possibly to Intel.

AMD Confirms Raja Koduri's Departure, CEO Lisa Su Interim RTG Head

AMD late Tuesday confirmed the departure of Raja Koduri as head of the company's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG). Koduri had been on a "sabbatical" since September. Company CEO Lisa Su, who has been directly heading RTG, will continue to do so, until a replacement is found. AMD in its statement confirming Koduri's departure, assured all concerned (particularly investors), that there will be no change in the group's plans and the strategic direction in which it's heading.

"Earlier today, we announced two unrelated updates for our Radeon Technologies Group: 1) Raja Koduri has decided to leave AMD and 2) we are taking the next steps in our work to strengthen RTG by further focusing the organization on key growth areas," said Drew Prairie from corporate communications at AMD. "I wanted to also make sure you understood these updates do not impact our plans or the strategic direction we are driving our graphics business," he continued.

AMD Radeon Boss Raja Koduri Jumps Ship

As we reported back in September, Raja Koduri took a sabbatical leave from AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) to find himself. AMD CEO Lisa Su was left in charge during this time as Raja wasn't expected to return until December. However, our friends over at Hexus got their hands on a memo that Raja left to this team revealing his intentions to leave the company for good.

Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

Raja Koduri, chief of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has reportedly taken an extended leave from the company, running up to December 2017. Ryan Shrout, editor of PC Perspective stated that he got confirmation from the company about this development. Company CEO Lisa Su has taken direct control over RTG in the meantime.

Formed in 2015 after a major internal reorganization, RTG handles a bulk of AMD's graphics IP, developing and marketing products under the Radeon brand, including Radeon RX series consumer graphics chips, Radeon Pro series professional graphics chips, and Radeon Instinct line of GPGPU accelerators. This move is of particular significance as Q4 tends to be the biggest revenue quarter, as sales rally on account of Holiday.

On AMD's Raja Koduri RX Vega Tweetstorm

In what is usually described as a tweetstorm, AMD's RTG leader Raja Koduri weighed in on AMD's RX Vega reception and perception from both the public and reviewers. There are some interesting tidbits there; namely, AMD's option of setting the RX vega parts at frequencies and voltages outside the optimal curve for power/performance ratios, in a bid to increase attractiveness towards the performance/$ crowds.

However, it can be said that if AMD had done otherwise, neither gamers nor reviewers would have been impressed with cards that potentially delivered less performance than their NVIDIA counterparts, while consuming more power all the same (even if consuming significantly less wattage). At the rated MSRP (and that's a whole new discussion), this RTG decision was the best one towards increasing attractiveness of RX Vega offerings. However, Raja Koduri does stress Vega's dynamic performance/watt ratios, due to the usage of specially defined power profiles.
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AMD Announces the Radeon RX Vega Nano

AMD had two press days over the weekend to cover a whole bunch of announcements- Ryzen Threadripper, RX Vega, Vega Pro and more. They provided details galore on the Vega microarchitecture, and the two RX Vega versions. Well, make that three now. AMD at Capcaicin SIGGRAPH 2017 also announced and showed off the RX Vega Nano.

Raja Koduri, Senior Vice-president of AMD's Radeon Technology Group, came up on stage minutes ago and handed over one of the very few working samples of this new card to Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and Unreal Engine. The RX Vega Nano is an update to the R9 Nano from 2015 which was based off AMD's "Fiji" microarchitecture and was the then king of efficiency and small form factor support. We were only just talking about how RX Vega missed an opportunity with HBM2 to provide another mITX GPU and looks like AMD agreed.
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