Intriguing news from the world of GPU hardware today, as Intel indicates its intentions to re-enter the discrete GPU business. Intel CPUs have long had integrated graphics chips (iGPUs), but this would be the first time since the cancelled ‘Larrabee’ project in 2009/2010 that the company has dabbled in discrete cards.
To add another twist to this story, the man heading Intel’s new ‘Core and Visual Computing Group’ as its chief architect will be none other than former AMD Tech Group Leader Raja Koduri. Koduri resigned from AMD yesterday, only to be announced as Intel’s new hire.
The announcement states that Koduri will “expand Intel’s leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments.” That’s a lot of word salad, but the intent very much appears to be for Intel to develop GPUs that will compete with Nvidia and AMD for the mid-range and beyond market that their iGPUs can’t touch.
A third player, and a major one at that, making PC GPUs could be very interesting indeed. There is (probably by design) no suggestion from the announcement about how far along with this project the company might be. If they’re planning on having Koduri oversee GPU development from scratch, then it’ll be several years before we see anything produced. But if they’ve already been working on this stuff internally, a discrete Intel GPU could be much closer.
As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, this hardware news follows an announcement earlier in the week that Intel will be teaming up with AMD (using a Polaris spin-off chip, specifically) to take on Nvidia in the laptop market.