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What just happened? Raja Koduri, the man who left AMD five years ago to become Intel's Chief Architect, is leaving the company to launch his own generative AI software startup. Team blue boss Pat Gelsinger made the announcement on Twitter, thanking Koduri for his help with Intel's high-performance graphics endevors.
Having taken a leave of absence from his role as head of the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD in September 2017, Koduri a month later announced he was leaving the company, noting that he felt the urge to pursue his passion beyond hardware and explore broader solutions. Just 24 hours later, he joined Intel to become its Chief Architect, helping Chipzilla build its discreet Arc graphics cards. Koduri was promoted to Executive Vice President in April 2022.
"Thank you @RajaXg for your many contributions to Intel tech & architecture-especially w/high-performance graphics that helped bring 3 new product lines to market in '22. Wishing you success as you create a new software co. around generative AI for gaming, media & entertainment," Gelsinger tweeted.
Thank you @RajaXg for your many contributions to Intel tech & architecture-especially w/high-performance graphics that helped bring 3 new product lines to market in '22. Wishing you success as you create a new software co. around generative AI for gaming, media & entertainment.— Pat Gelsinger (@PGelsinger) March 21, 2023
The Arc graphics card series, which arrived later than planned to middling reviews, haven't challenged Nvidia or AMD in the way Intel hoped. But the company has recently been slashing their prices and introducing new drivers that have improved performance.
Koduri was also responsible for other Intel projects, including its first blockchain accelerator.
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
Following his departure from Intel, Koduri will be joining the generative artificial intelligence revolution by starting his own software company focusing on this field. He told Reuters that the as-yet-unnamed organization will build a new wave of generative AI tools that work on Intel, AMD, and Apple chips, or even future chips based on RISC-V.
Koduri said AIs that can generate images from text, such as Midjourney 5, have great potential when it comes to video games and visual effects. He explained that his company's first product will be a service that lets artists easily use generative image AI tools no matter what device or platform they may be working on, without having to delve into the code. Those artists "are not technical. They just get baffled by all this stuff," Koduri said.
Dr. Randhir Thakur, who previously headed Intel's manufacturing arm, is also leaving the company. He is being replaced by Stuart Pann, who will take over as senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services.