Raja Koduri, Intel Corp.’s top architect, is quitting the firm to create a business that seeks to weaken Nvidia Corp.’s hold on the digital movie and video gaming markets.
Pat Gelsinger, the chief executive of Intel, announced Koduri’s departure in a tweet on Tuesday. Koduri told Reuters that his as-of-yet-unnamed company will work to create a new generation of so-called generative artificial intelligence tools that can run on chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Apple Inc., or even future chips built using open-source RISC-V technology.
According to Koduri, new software tools show enormous promise for industries like visual effects and video games because they can produce original visuals with simply a text input. However, they are often made to only run on Nvidia CPUs.
Koduri said his first efforts will be aimed at creating a service that lets movie and game artists easily use those AI tools whether they are using a PC, Mac, iPad or other devices without having to dive deep into software code.
Those artists “are not technical. They just get baffled by all this stuff,” Koduri said. Koduri, a veteran of Advanced Micro Devices and Apple Inc, joined Intel five years ago. He was part of a wave of outsiders hired by Intel, which had been known in the chip industry for promoting executives from within, to rethink the company’s approach as it lost market share to rivals.
However, Koduri has a long history of interest in movies and has worked on nearly two dozen generations of computer graphics circuits. He contributed to the funding of Makuta Effects, an Indian special effects company that will be included into the new business, more than ten years ago, and one of his cousins most recently received an Oscar for their work on the Telugu movie “RRR.”
Koduri claimed he had raised a round of seed money for his new firm and that it will have a significant presence in India in addition to Singapore and the United States, though he would not provide a monetary amount.
He declared that the business would develop software to support chips built using open-source technology like RISC-V.
We will be the first user to provide comments and encouragement for any RISC-V-based or open architecture-based hardware that becomes available, the man declared. We need to drastically reduce the cost of AI computing if we’re going to fully democratize it for everyone.