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Intel is Building a GPU Design Team in Arm’s Backyard

Intel Arc Alchemist
(Image credit: Intel)

According to a new job posting, Intel is setting up a GPU development center in the UK. The company is looking for experienced hardware design engineers to develop low-power GPU architectures for portable computing devices.  

"We are building a brand-new team in the UK to focus solely on class-leading low power GPU architectures and designs to enable the next generation of portable computing," reads the job description posted by Intel's Xe Architecture and IP Engineering (XAE) Low Power Group. "This requires proven skills in a range of engineering disciplines from architecture, hardware design, software driver design all with low power as the key focus."

The new GPU R&D center will be located in Swindon, UK, which is roughly 125 miles away from Cambridge, the country's largest technology hub, and around 90 miles away from London. 

At present, there are two major GPU developers in the UK: Arm's Mali development team and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR development team. Both specialize in low-power GPU architectures and have extensive experience designing energy-efficient GPU blocks used by Apple, MediaTek, NXP, Samsung, and Renesas, to name a few. 

With this in mind, there are enough engineers to poach in the UK if you want to develop a low-power GPU architecture. Meanwhile, many of Arm's Mali developers still reside in Trondheim, Norway, which is why codenames of Mali architectures originate from Norwegian mythology. 

At present, Intel uses Xe-LP architecture for notebook processors and should continue doing so for a while. But it looks like the company feels that it will need a brand-new low-power GPU architecture for its processors due in five to six years from now. 

It is noteworthy that Raja Koduri, who is responsible for all GPU activity at Intel, has extensive experience with ImgTec's PowerVR architecture from his days at Apple. Furthermore, the word 'portable' may indicate that Intel is looking beyond notebooks with its next-generation low-power GPU architecture. 

Intel has been meticulously expanding its GPU development team since it hired Koduri in November 2017. Last year the company hired Vineet Goel, a veteran GPU architect from AMD, after employing multiple high-profile GPU engineers, architects, and technologies from Team Red. 

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • digitalgriffin
    Little bit of Irony that Raja came from PowerVR and then created the GCN architecture, which is anything BUT efficient. It just GULPED down power compared to NVIDIA
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    digitalgriffin said:
    Little bit of Irony that Raja came from PowerVR and then created the GCN architecture, which is anything BUT efficient. It just GULPED down power compared to NVIDIA

    * Compared to everything after Kepler.

    Probably worth noting that, in the UK, 125 miles is quite a long way, relatively speaking.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    Good point. In the States 125 miles is nothing.
    Reply