Nvidia’s just hosted its quarterly earnings call and questions naturally arose regarding AMD Radeon boss Raja Koduri’s defection to Intel, heading up development of discrete graphics cards.
Unsurprisingly, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said AMD losing Koduri to Intel was a big loss, causing a significant drain in know-how from one of AMD’s most recognisable figures.
“First of all, Raja leaving AMD is a great loss for AMD,” said Jen-Hsun, “and it’s a recognition by Intel probably that the GPU is just incredibly, incredibly important right now.” It was of course only a matter of weeks ago that Jen-Hsun Huang claimed GPUs would eventually replace CPUs entirely, and Intel’s recent market movements only serve to substantiate these claims.
Essentially starting from scratch, Intel has its work cut out to drag itself level with Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon, both of which are firmly entrenched in the GPU industry and in gamer mindshare. “So when you think about it from that perspective, it’s just an enormous undertaking,” said Jen-Hsun. “Arguably the most significant undertaking of any processor in the world today.”
He estimates a typical GPU generation takes three years to build, while Nvidia continually maps five years ahead. They’ve also got 5000 engineers working on GPU software alone. Intel’s got to do all of this from a standing start, while Nvidia is packing decades of experience.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this is going to pan out. Intel has got near limitless resources and the inside knowledge from Raja Koduri, but it’s playing catch up to two huge players in the graphics card industry.