According to a report from AdoredTV, Intel has more to worry about than just a resurgent AMD. The largest empires have often failed because of internal cracks, and Intel seems to be suffering from the same. Please keep in mind that this info hasn’t been confirmed and given its delicate nature, never will be, so take it with a grain of salt. The media outlet claims that there are a lot of internal power struggles going on at Intel. These include the Intel Graphics Division Head Raja Koduri, the recent departee from the company, Chris Hook and Heather Lennon. ()
It was Started with Raja Koduri at AMD
This started with Raja Koduri back when he worked at AMD. Turns out that he wanted to make AMD’s graphics division a separate company (an acquisition) and use the money obtained from a buy-out to make compelling GPUs that could compete with NVIDIA’s offerings. That, of course, didn’t happen, but he was able to form the Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) a sub-division of AMD, with him heading it.
We all know how that turned out. Vega was a disaster. Shortly after its launch, Raja was forced to go on a sabbatical from the top role at Radeon. This was probably something similar to a suspension from the CEO. This is when Koduri joined Intel and the Odyssey was born.
However, it turns out that things aren’t going too well with Xe either. AdoredTV reports that Intel was quick to promise too many features with Arctic Sound. According to the company, Xe GPUs will compete in the mainstream gaming lineup as well as in the Data Center space, offering the needed benefits in each segment.
However, doing that won’t be an easy task. And the cracks have already begun to show. Recently, Chris Hook and Heather Lennon left the Intel Graphics marketing team. Hook was the lead marketing guy there, and someone like that doesn’t just up and go a few months after joining.
According to AdoredTV, they were both forced to leave after a disastrous start to the Odyssey. The new DG1 graphics card that was waved around at CES 2020 was originally supposed to be a gaming GPU. However, it’s actually far from competitive. (This is something WCCFTech also reported) Instead of someone from the design team taking the blame, the marketing guys had to take the fall: Hook and Lennon.
There are also reports that Ari Rauch, Vice President of the Intel Graphics Division will be fired soon. That would mean that Koduri would get near-full control over the Xe project. We’re not sure if it was at his behest that people are being laid off left and right, but Intel changing internally.
There is a lack of strong leadership. The new CEO, Bob Swan has a business and commerce background, not a tech one. Raja Koduri and Jim Keller were hired to take care of this very problem, but it seems that it has just made matters worse, and led to rivalries among the power figures. There have been reports of internal executive shuffling at Intel. Navin Shenoy was recently made the executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel Corporation.
Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t have been so suspicious, but this was never announced. It was done in secret. It was only after media prodding that Intel cared to acknowledge this.
A few recent rumors also claim that the second prototype, DG2 will be fabbed on TSMC’s 7nm node. That just further highlights that Intel is still struggling with mass production of 10nm based chips, and the first generation of Xe GPUs will be smack-dab in the middle of it.
This is probably a good thing. Intel can focus on building CPUs and GPUs and not worry about the yields and production. That’s going to happen with the second wave of Xe graphics cards. The first generation is still in jeopardy. All-in-all, things don’t look very bright for Intel.
As far as the Graphics Odyssey or Xe is concerned, I believe that they’ll manage. After a bumpy initial generation, the succeeding parts should be at least up to modern standards. All this will require additional time and resources, and it’ll probably be more than a year before we see the first Intel discrete graphics card. The Tiger Lake Gen12 Xe doesn’t count. That’s just a beefed-up iGPU with more shaders. Despite that though, it’s going to render NVIDIA’s MX lineup redundant. Now, if only the mainstream Xe cards come with the same promise, that’d be sweet!