Image: Intel

Raja Koduri has responded to rumors that began circulating on Friday regarding Intel’s dGPU division following news that it is winding down its Optane memory business. The rumors stemmed from an unnamed Intel source who said that upper management had concerns over the viability of its dGPU division. They went on to say the division is under evaluation for continuance and the team was aware of falling short of expectations. The alleged source was no doubt, at least in part, referring to the Intel Arc A380 that was seen trailing behind older and lower-tier cards from AMD and NVIDIA in 1080p testing.

Intel’s dGPU program is being evaluated for continuance. Upper Intel management is concerned about the viability of its dGPU moving forward in a fast changing market given its track record of Alchemist execution currently (…) and the execution of next-gen Battlemage is already extremely questionable. At this time it does not like like [the] data center GPU is on the chopping block.

It doesn’t take non-public information to know that we’ve fallen short of what we’d hoped to do by this stage. Not just because of bad execution (…), but we have definately dropped the ball in some areas. But we always knew getting to this point was going to be a learning process and there are real changes to priorities and processes are being made to correct these failures in the future.

Trust me, nobody in the graphics leadership is cocky right about now. Everyone knows that we have more or less under-performance across various graphics programs.

But I still believe that Intel needs something like what we have in the graphics organisation. There might be some good reasons to do it, but I would be shocked if [management person] pulled the plug on the whole thing.

It didn’t take long for various news outlets to run with these statements and question if the Intel dGPU division could be on the chopping block. Mr. Koduri has responded by saying that his division is on track, committed to its roadmap, and promised forthcoming updates.

Source: Coretaks (via OC3D)

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

18 comments

  1. Mr. Koduri has responded by saying that his division is on track, committed to its roadmap, and promised forthcoming updates.

    Surprised he’s still employed. The only great news at Intel following their latest investors meeting is that they will get pretty much all of the $52B US federal funding from the CHIPS act…

    GPU lost half a billion last quarter. I guess it helps if you can actually ship.

  2. Surprised he’s still employed.
    I read Intel's PR squad as 'anxious' a month or so ago. They're just as annoyed as everyone else that supply chain issues are slow-rolling product releases, but near as I can tell, they do have waves of new GPUs in the pipe. That are coming... soon :cool:
  3. It's hurt their stock. I've got a bunch of it and it's the lowest I've seen since I've had it. $36 right now. I'm not selling it tho. I have little doubt it'll be back.
  4. It's going to take more than one try to challenge Nvidia and AMD on the GPU front. It's not at all surprising to see GPU losing money for Intel at this point. If Intel wasn't prepared for the long haul, they shouldn't have started.

    Raja can do compute, but his track record on consumer chips is not great. I don't know if he was the best choice to head up the division for Intel. With that specialized level of knowledge, he may have been the only choice available.
  5. His last few releases with AMD were lack luster. He hyped up Fury and VII like they were going to be amazing.....and they were duds. RX400 and 500 series weren't all that good either. Is anyone surprised these Intel ARC GPU's suck as well? I'm not.

    I don't see him lasting much longer at Intel if Intel wants to be competitive in the GPU space.
  6. I think they just need to stay the course. There's not a lot of talent to bring over from other sides and it takes time to develop talent. Even then though, there has been a substantial amount of time in just trying to get the first cards out the door. Let's hope that everything in the pipeline continues a growth pattern that supports a gen worthy of competing with at least some of what NV and AMD have coming.
  7. Raja can do compute, but his track record on consumer chips is not great. I don't know if he was the best choice to head up the division for Intel. With that specialized level of knowledge, he may have been the only choice available.

    I feel like the Raja bubble popped after he failed to bring AMD's GPU's to the top end to compete with Nvidia. I was really surprised when I heard Intel hired him. He didn't have what it took to take an established GPU maker and make them more competitive, but for some reason Intel thought he could create a competitive GPU business from scratch?
  8. It's going to take more than one try to challenge Nvidia and AMD on the GPU front. It's not at all surprising to see GPU losing money for Intel at this point. If Intel wasn't prepared for the long haul, they shouldn't have started.

    That is my expectation as well. These other companies have had - by my count - between 20 and 30 generations (depending on what you count as a generation) of discrete GPU products to incrementally learn and improve designs. That historical institutional knowledge is built into their design process and survives the turnover of people. It amounts to a HUGE barrier to entry for anyone who wants to try. It's insane to fault Intel for not being able to instantly be competitive in their first try.

    That said, Intel has tons of experience in designing low end integrated GPU's as well. One would think some of that would translate into a leg up over anyone coming in completely fresh, but the question is how much.

    All of that said, I don't think they are doing themselves any favors trying to use Raja for this task. He had his moment at AMD and showed that he was more of a meme than a great business leader or engineer. I'm not exactly sure who I would hire if I had a few billion dollars to spare and wanted to create a GPU business, but it probably wouldn't be him.
  9. In my opinion for the dollar Intel and AMD need to be taking a HARD look at what Apple is doing with their M1 and M2 chips and how fast they are advancing. Those chips are doing a **** TON on a tiny bit of power and running VERY well in laptops and desktop... things.

    They are shiny, they are fast, and they look good. I'm actually wanting one but just unwilling to drop 5g's on a toy.
  10. In my opinion for the dollar Intel and AMD need to be taking a HARD look at what Apple is doing with their M1 and M2 chips and how fast they are advancing. Those chips are doing a **** TON on a tiny bit of power and running VERY well in laptops and desktop... things.
    That's who Intel is targeting - not AMD, but Apple.
  11. I feel like the Raja bubble popped after he failed to bring AMD's GPU's to the top end to compete with Nvidia. I was really surprised when I heard Intel hired him. He didn't have what it took to take an established GPU maker and make them more competitive, but for some reason Intel thought he could create a competitive GPU business from scratch?
    That is exactly what I thought when Intel hired him. When he left Radeon Technology Group I was like "good riddance." Then Intel hired him and I was like "uuuhhh why the f*ck would you do that? Did you not see what he did for AMD (which was jack sh1t)?"
  12. It may be important to point out that Raja is a leader, and that what comes from his leadership - while absolutely his responsibility - is also limited by his resources.

    AMDs GPU business is a case in point. While we can scoff at the products that made it to market under Raja's leadership as well as criticize his marketing efforts related to those products, we don't know whether things would have been better or perhaps worse under someone else's leadership. And while AMD isn't known for shooting themselves in the foot with their GPUs as much as with their CPUs (ahem, Bulldozer), they do tend to outwardly appear rather ham-fisted in their efforts, without considering their legendary marketing guy.

    Further, while I can't say that those products released during his tenure were knockouts, the parts that immediately followed - the 5700s and then the current 6000-series - had to have been in development at some level during Raja's tenure and showed a marked improvement. Rumors have AMDs 7000-series as being highly competitive across all fronts with Nvidia's upcoming 4000-series, and unlike most noise coming from rabid r/AyyMD adherents, this time the rumored gains seem feasible.



    To me, it's a lot like trying to judge a president during or immediately after their term, especially on things like economics. Yes, he who sat in the chair owns the results, but the effects of policies usually take a decade or more to sort out - less so for consumer electronics, yet still more than most prefer to consider.
  13. If Intel makes an official statement about how committed they are, the entire department needs to start looking for another job. They released a turd. No even really cheap. So two times the turd. Unless theres miracles in the pipeline typically you dont succeed with expensive turds. Even with superior products, its not a guarantee to suceed. Intel strategy for dGpu is non existent. With an inferior product the only choice is to make it superior in other ways. Cut that margin to near zero. Add all manner of hardware acceleration you can imagine , and if there is a codec without hardware acceleration, make it. Theres plenty of things that can be made better in a pc thats not 3d. Hell buy rights to some audio standards/codecs and shove a cool sound card in there while you are at it. Thats a strategy, acknowledging your weakness, and working with and around it. They have no vision or strategy right now.
  14. To me, it's a lot like trying to judge a president during or immediately after their term, especially on things like economics. Yes, he who sat in the chair owns the results, but the effects of policies usually take a decade or more to sort out - less so for consumer electronics, yet still more than most prefer to consider.
    Hmm, I don't know.

    I mean... AMD has it's issues, that's for sure. But Raja overhyped and mis-sold the product to the point that it was almost impossible for the Vega releases to be anything but a colossal let-down.

    Now, Vega has had a very, very long life. It's still used in some of the APUs today. It is by no means a failed technology. It just wasn't what Raja was selling to the public when it first released.

    Now, here we are with Intel. A lot of hype events. A lot of random benchmarks with no context. No review samples. A lot of missed dates.

    I don't think it has anything to do with resources. I think we have to clear-cut cases of just plain bad management. Raja is great at Hype. What he isn't good at is shaping and tempering expectations. And when products can't live up to the hype he's selling, it's a horrible, horrible look for the company who's hat he happens to be wearing at the time.

    Before Raja got on board, I thought Intel had a dGPU plan. Back when Kyle was hired for a bit -- they were pushing enthusiast-oriented driver packages, pledging a more aggressive driver update schedule, and the hardware would be ok, and follow at some point. As soon as Raja got in there - all that focus shifted 180 degrees.

    It's clear to me, at least, where the issue lay.

    Now.... I can put on my tin foil hat ... my opinion is that, in the Board Room -- nothing to do with Raja really -- is that Intel is just chasing this dGPU business because they want a piece of the mining action. I can provide circumstantial evidence - in this latest earnings call, they emphasize how they had shipped a lot of units to crypto, compute and other customers (just not dGPUs). Now, sure, that ~could~ be data centers... but how many data centers are jumping on a Gen 1 product from a company with no track record... even one with an Intel sticker on it? So I think those were all miners - not really anything else. And I think the dGPU business is more of that -- they really want a piece of that insatiable mining market. They have their FPGA division working on dedicated ASICS, they have the "compute" side for not-quite-industrial-scale, but still large scale with deep pockets, and then their dGPU division is marketed as gamer, but in reality, it's aimed at all those home-miners who just have a handful of rigs in their basement or garage.

    So the Board, in my opinion, I don't think cares too much about if their dGPU can play games or not, so long as it does well on hash/W, and they can produce it for a competitive price in that context. Raja is Intel's version of Ronald McDonald -- the clown out there to help sell the cheeseburgers to the kids, while the real business is aimed at the miners.
  15. Before Raja got on board, I thought Intel had a dGPU plan. Back when Kyle was hired for a bit -- they were pushing enthusiast-oriented driver packages, pledging a more aggressive driver update schedule, and the hardware would be ok, and follow at some point. As soon as Raja got in there - all that focus shifted 180 degrees.
    I do agree to some point but Intel had continued to go through a lot of changes right before, during, and after he was hired. I had posted at one point on how they were like the Borg (I even modded a Borg cube image and slapped the Intel Inside logo on it) in assimilating personnel from across the tech industry but it wasn't too much longer after that a companywide exodus happened too. I don't remember who or why they left but it was substantial with various top-level positions, spanned about 1-2 years, and I'm sure that had an effect on whatever was planned before he was hired. Not denying the hype-train strategy though. It has been consistent.
  16. Now hiring: there's a current opening for entry-level and mid-range discrete GPUs...

    GPUs are notoriously complex; it's not surprising to see delays, especially with everything else going on.

    What's been clear for a long time is that Intel needs better communication.

    No comment on Raja.

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