After five years of taking on the daunting task of creating a whole new graphics division within Intel – the quirks, bugs, and overall glitches notwithstanding at this point – Raja Koduri, the man and face of the chipmaker’s ARC division, is resigning from the company. Not only that, but he’s also leaving the GPU-making industry altogether and forming his own startup.
Koduri broke the news of his leaving Intel via Twitter, in which he says that he is “embarking on a new chapter” of his life. As to what sort of startup he’s got in mind, the man says that he’ll be delving into the world of Generative AI, with a focus on gaming, media, and entertainment.
Thank you Pat and @intel for many cherished memories and incredible learning over the past 5 years. Will be embarking on a new chapter in my life, doing a software startup as noted below. Will have more to share in coming weeks. https://t.co/8DcnNdso3r
— Raja Koduri (Bali Makaradhwaja) (@RajaXg) March 21, 2023
If you’re wondering why a man like Koduri warrants this much attention, allow us to give you a brief history. One of Koduri’s earliest stints in the discrete graphics industry goes all the way back to the inception of ATI, as the director of advanced technology development. Years later, AMD acquired ATI, and he proceeded to serve as the CTO for graphics at his new company.
In 2009, Koduri went over to Apple, where he designed graphics hardware that allowed the fruit company to transition the display panels of its Macs to the now widely used Retina displays. His stint at the Cupertino-based brand ended in 2013, when he then returned to AMD and was promoted in 2015 to the position of Senior VP and chief architect of the Radeon Technologies Group.
In 2017, Koduri announced that he was taking a sabbatical, before ultimately announcing that he would be resigning and joining Intel, initially as chief architect and senior vice president of the company’s then newly formed Core and Visual Computing Group. In 2021, he officially announced the birth of Intel’s new ARC discrete graphics and its first generation Alchemist lineup of A-Series GPUs, all powered by Intel Xe cores. This was a significant milestone in the tech industry, as not only did it give the chipmaker a full-fledged graphics card lineup, but it also provided the consumer market with another option to the two long-dominating brands, AMD and NVIDIA.
Having said that and to be fair, Koduri’s efforts with ARC has been less than stellar – even the lineup’s top-tier A770 is only on par with the mid-range offerings of NVIDIA’s RTX 30 Series or AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs. If nothing else, you would think that the man would stay, at least until the 2nd generation of ARC discrete graphics launches. In any case, his departure does mark the end of an era in the world of discrete graphics.
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