Raja Koduri, the chief driver behind Intel’s discrete GPU efforts, is leaving the semiconductor giant after spending more than five years leading the buildout of its graphics capabilities and other technologies.
The news was disclosed on Twitter by Koduri and Intel Pat Gelsinger, who also shared the announcement with employees in an internal memo seen by CRN.
Koduri will leave at the end of March after most recently serving as executive vice president and chief architect. He plans to start a new software company “focused on generative AI for gaming, media and entertainment,” Gelsinger said on Twitter and in his internal memo.
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, 2023An Intel spokesperson told CRN that the chief architect role “will not be filled at this time.”
Koduri told CRN that he had “seriously considered retirement” after going on medical leave late last year and after “27 years with GPU companies and 22 generations of GPU hardware.”
“But the generative AI space rekindled my passion to get into software for a bit and hopefully even the playing field leveraging non-CUDA hardware for this workload," he added.
:That’s the genesis for [my] startup,” he wrote in a direct message on Twitter, referencing Nvidia’s dominance in the GPU market with its CUDA parallel programing platform.
In his memo to employees, Gelsinger said it was with “mixed emotions” for him to say farewell to Koduri along with Randhir Thakur, the original head of the Intel Foundry Services contract manufacturing business who is also leaving and will be replaced by 35-year Intel veteran Stuart Pann.
Thakur is set to leave at the end of March too, but his resignation was announced internally back in November.
Gelsinger said he was “thankful for Raja’s numerous contributions to Intel technology and architecture over the years, especially in developing a new high-performance graphics architecture that helped us bring three new flagship product lines to market in 2022.”
This is in reference to Intel Arc graphics products for gaming and workstation PCs, the Intel Data Centre GPU Flex Series for visual cloud applications and the Intel Data Centre GPU Max Series for high-performance computing and AI workloads.
Gelsinger added that he is “excited about the possibility” of Intel’s corporate strategy and ventures team “exploring ways to collaborate with Raja’s new company in the future.”