Components & Peripherals News

Raja Koduri, Main Driver Of Intel’s GPU Efforts, To Leave Company

Dylan Martin

Raja Koduri is leaving Intel to form a software company after leading the company’s discrete graphics efforts for five years as chief architect for most of his tenure and, for a time, as the head of the chipmaker’s GPU business unit. A company spokesperson says his role as chief architect ‘will not be filled at this time.’


Raja Koduri, the chief driver behind Intel’s discrete GPU efforts, is leaving the semiconductor giant after spending more than five years leading the buildout of its graphics capabilities and other technologies.

The news was disclosed on Twitter by Koduri and Intel Pat Gelsinger, who also shared the announcement with employees in an internal memo seen by CRN.

Koduri will leave at the end of March after most recently serving as executive vice president and chief architect. He plans to start a new software company “focused on generative AI for gaming, media and entertainment,” Gelsinger said on Twitter and in his internal memo.

[Related: Intel Makes Cuts To Data Center GPU Road Map, Delays Falcon Shores To 2025]

An Intel spokesperson told CRN that the chief architect role “will not be filled at this time.”

Koduri told CRN that he had “seriously considered retirement” after going on medical leave late last year and after “27 years with GPU companies and 22 generations of GPU hardware.”

“But the generative AI space rekindled my passion to get into software for a bit and hopefully even the playing field leveraging non-CUDA hardware for this workload. That’s the genesis for [my] startup,” he wrote in a direct message on Twitter, referencing Nvidia’s dominance in the GPU market with its CUDA parallel programing platform.

In his memo to employees, Gelsinger said it was with “mixed emotions” for him to say farewell to Koduri along with Randhir Thakur, the original head of the Intel Foundry Services contract manufacturing business who is also leaving and will be replaced by 35-year Intel veteran Stuart Pann. Thakur is set to leave at the end of March too, but his resignation was announced internally back in November.

Gelsinger said he was “thankful for Raja’s numerous contributions to Intel technology and architecture over the years, especially in developing a new high-performance graphics architecture that helped us bring three new flagship product lines to market in 2022.”

This is in reference to Intel Arc graphics products for gaming and workstation PCs, the Intel Data Center GPU Flex Series for visual cloud applications and the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series for high-performance computing and AI workloads.

Gelsinger added that he is “excited about the possibility” of Intel’s corporate strategy and ventures team “exploring ways to collaborate with Raja’s new company in the future.”

One solution provider executive, Randy Copeland, called Koduri an “extraordinarily talented person,” adding that he was “not shocked” by the news, though he was “disappointed.”

Copeland, president and CEO of PC system builder Velocity Micro, said Koduri had set out to build a “top-of-the-industry graphics card” for PCs when he joined Intel in 2017 but the company has not yet accomplished this goal, instead focusing on the mid-range segment with the first Arc generation.

“AMD and Nvidia are just on a tear at the moment with performance advances. It’s such a fast-moving target they’re trying to intercept. But who would ever want to count Intel out of a fight? I wouldn’t,” said Copeland, whose company is based in Richmond, Virginia.

An Intel spokesperson told CRN that the company continues to execute “on our roadmap in all of the key segments for graphics.”

Raja Koduri’s Background At Intel And Other Companies

As chief architect, Koduri has been “focused on continuing the growth of Intel’s efforts in graphics and accelerating high-priority technical programs,” according to his biography on Intel’s website.

His responsibilities also included “driving the convergence of CPU, GPU and AI architecture” as well as advancing Intel’s initiatives around zettascale computing, which revolves around Intel’s goal of enabling a supercomputer that can reach a zettaflop in performance. A zettaflop is equal to 1,000 exaflops, which is about 500 times faster than the 2-exaflop Aurora supercomputer that Intel is working on.

Koduri’s role as chief architect also put him in charge of “ensuring advanced memory constructions and other architectural elements are integrated into development plans for the benefit of Intel product lines and Intel Foundry Services customers.”

Intel moved Koduri last December back to the chief architect role—one of Koduri’s original titles when he joined Intel in 2017—after serving as the general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group since the business unit for the company’s graphics efforts was formed by Gelsinger in mid-2021 as part of a broader restructuring.

When Koduri left the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group in December, Intel restructured the division and split it into two, moving the company’s client GPU efforts under the Client Computing Group and its data center GPU efforts under the Datacenter and AI Group. The client GPU group is led by Lisa Pearce while the data center GPU group is led by Jeff McVeigh.

Koduri joined Intel in 2017 as chief architect, senior vice president of what was the newly formed Core and Visual Computing Group at the time and general managed of edge computing solutions. When his appointed was announced, Intel said he would expand the company’s “leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions” for broad range of segments.

Prior to joining Intel, Koduri led AMD’s graphics efforts as senior vice president and chief architect for Radeon technologies. Before that, he served as the director of graphics architecture at Apple, where he helped create a graphics subsystem for the company’s Macintosh computers. He held various graphics leadership roles at AMD in the prior eight years.

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Dylan Martin

Dylan Martin is a senior editor at CRN covering the semiconductor, PC, mobile device, and IoT beats. He has distinguished his coverage of the semiconductor industry thanks to insightful interviews with CEOs and top executives; scoops and exclusives about product, strategy and personnel changes; and analyses that dig into the why behind the news.   He can be reached at

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