Intel splits GPU group into two separate units

Restructuring move puts Intel's gaming and data center products into separate categories to better serve both markets.

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Intel announced plans to split its AXG graphics group and move the resources into two existing business units to better serve their respective markets.

The consumer/gaming end of the GPU business will move to Intel’s Client Compute Group (CCG), which develops consumer computing platforms based on the company’s CPU products. The teams responsible for data center and supercomputing products such as the Ponte Vecchio and Rialto Bridge will move to the Data Center and AI (DCAI) business unit.

The GPU SoC and IP design teams will also fall under the DCAI umbrella, but they will continue to support the client graphics team. Jeff McVeigh, currently the vice president and general manager of the Super Compute Group, will serve as the interim leader of this team until a permanent leader is found.

Raja Koduri – currently the executive vice president of the AXG business unit who spearheaded Intel’s efforts to build a decent GPU after years of less-than-stellar attempts – will return to his previous role as an Intel Chief Architect.

That may sound like a demotion, but Koduri is an engineer and may be happy to return his focus to chip design, which he does well. Koduri said on Twitter he is currently in his native India where he had back surgery and will spend another month there recovering.

All told, this is a smart move. Yes, the consumer and data center products are the same Xe core, but they are designed, built, sold, and supported differently and should be in the groups aimed at those markets. AMD and Nvidia do the same thing.

“It makes sense when you consider that the consumer side of the GPU business is much more closely aligned with the consumer processors, and the HPC side of the GPU business is much more closely aligned with the data center business,” Anshel Sag, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told me via email.

“If Intel wants to be successful in these areas with its GPUs, it makes sense for the GPU divisions to be integrated more tightly with the CPU business and aligned on marketing and messaging. This feels like a natural organizational streamlining, but better integrating these GPU products into the core consumer and data center businesses,” he added.

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