Intel twist: Jim Keller, historical designer of several architectures including the “Zen” project behind AMD’s Ryzen processors, he leaves his position in the company with immediate effect for not better specified “personal reasons“. It will remain however as consultant for six months in order to facilitate the transition, as illustrated by Intel in a press release.
Jim Keller, whose history you can learn more about in this article, was joined Intel in mid-2018. With its departure from the scene, the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) led by Dr. Venkata (Murthy) Renduchintala sees some immediate changes in top positions:
- Sundari Mitra, former CEO and founder of NetSpeed Systems and current leader of the Configurable Intellectual Property and Chassis Group, will lead the new “IP Engineering” division focused on the development of new intellectual properties.
- Gene Scuteri will take care of the “Xeon and Networking Engineering” division.
- Daaman Hejmadi will return to lead the Client Engineering Group focused on the development of system-on-chip (SoC) and in the design of future client devices, devices and chipsets.
- Navid Shahriari will continue to lead the Manufacturing and Product Engineering division, a group that deals with the creation of pre-production tests and debug solutions to achieve high-volume and high-quality production.
“Intel congratulates Sundari, Gene, Daaman and Navid, and we can’t wait to run on our exciting product roadmap.”
In the hours following the announcement, an internal memorandum written by Renduchintala leaked from which some more details emerge, for example it seems that it will be Raja Koduri (arrived from AMD to create the dedicated Xe GPUs) to lead the Road map of the architectures. A part of the team that was employed by Keller will also report to Koduri. “We are creating an agile structure,” reads a passage from the memorandum.
“Jim Keller is a rock star and Intel is losing a great designer“said Patrick Moorhead, president and analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy.” Historically, Keller has left the companies in which he has fought after reaching a specific milestone as done in Apple, Tesla and AMD. I have no information on his personal reasons for leaving, but I hope he is well. As for Intel, the company has a long bench and it’s a place where engineers want to work. ”
At the moment there is no further information on “personal reasons” which led to Keller’s farewell to Intel. The hope is that it is not something related to health, his or her family members. Many do not rule out that there have been internal frictions within the company, the word “resignation” on the other hand leaves the door open to any scenario, while others simply believe that it has completed its task in the company by setting the future roadmap at the level above all packaging and interconnection technologies.