The head of Intel Arc Team Blue is leaving and that could be a good thing for gamers

The head of Intel Arc Team Blue is leaving and that could be a good thing for gamers

Raja Koduri, President of Intel Graphics, leaves Team Blue to found an AI-powered gaming company, highlighting the future of Intel’s discrete graphics dreams.

It was announced by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger yesterday TwitterKoduri’s departure comes after five years at Intel where he most recently headed the Intel AXG graphics unit, responsible for the company’s discrete GPU production to rival top graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia.

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Koduri left to found an artificial intelligence game software startup, according to Tom’s Hardware, and his departure follows a promotion in 2022 to executive vice president before returning to chief engineer, a role he took on after joining Intel in 2017 from AMD’s Radeon Graphics Unit. .

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Koduri’s time at Intel has been a bit difficult in recent years, due to Intel’s struggles with Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards. Despite receiving decent reviews for those few reviewers who managed to get them, finding the new graphics cards was a challenge and those who did manage to get their hands on them experienced performance issues related to the drivers Intel developed for the cards. Intel has since fixed some of these issues, but there is still work to be done.

It remains to be seen how this work will pan out, as Gelsinger’s letter doesn’t mention any replacement or anything about the future of the Intel AXG graphics family.

The departure of Raja Kodori is a great opportunity to reset Intel

There has been a lot of hype about the Intel Arc Alchemist as well as a bit of frustration. Many of us had been desperately hoping for Intel to succeed in this endeavor, as AMD and Nvidia’s split in the GPU space could present itself with some disruption, and there really aren’t many players who can get into the GPU battle thanks to the massive cost of entry.

This cost may be one that Team Blue is eager to cut in the coming months, and I really hope Raja Koduri’s departure is not a sign of things to come in that regard.

With Nvidia’s GTC 2023 event in full swing and Nvidia emerging to go all-out on AI and cloud services, I’m pretty pessimistic about the future of Nvidia GeForce graphics cards.

Market pressures will be largely directed at Nvidia to invest in AI at the expense of its consumer division, which means more GPUs for workstations and fewer graphics cards for gamers. The Nvidia RTX 5070 will probably still see the light of day in a couple of years, but with the way AI is going, I highly doubt we’ll ever see the Nvidia RTX 6070.

This leaves AMD and Intel, and while Team Red makes some amazing products, the lack of real competition can only stifle innovation in the long term, and AMD will need to build a fire if it is going to continue the very positive trends we’re seeing.

And given the inflated prices of AMD’s best graphics cards in recent years, it’s hard to call AMD a budget option anymore. No, we need something else to fill that gap in the market, and Intel is very well positioned to meet that very real need. will they? I certainly hope so, and Koduri’s exit should provide an opportunity for Intel to double down on its discrete graphics card ambitions rather than give them away.

Intel Arc Alchemist may have been a near failure, but Battlemage could still succeed

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Getting a new product launch going is tough, and the first effort’s Intel Arc Alchemist seems like a decent enough offering. It could absolutely be better, but what we really need is for the next Intel GPU to knock it out of the park.

There’s a lot of attachment to the Arc Alchemist from the Intel Graphics team for obvious reasons, and there seems to be some genuine affection between Koduri and the team he leads. Adversity tends to cause this, especially when the world seems to be counting you off the jump.

But given everything, new leadership may be what’s needed to get Intel’s graphics team back on track to make the next GPU a success. There’s no doubt that the GPU series, codenamed Battlemage, is in the works and this reset could be the perfect opportunity to ignore the Alchemist’s challenges, learn the lessons that need to be learned, and spot a strong contender for the best graphics on the cheap. card on the market within a year.

And while every manufacturer wants to be here to claim the title of “Best Ever,” let’s be real: This is the Nvidia RTX 4090, and it’s a graphics card that like five people will be buying. Almost everyone will be looking for something they can afford that will give them the next-gen gaming experience that they have been missing out on for the past few years.

Arc Battlemage could easily hit that goal and make a real case for itself as a viable alternative to Nvidia and AMD while also earning the gratitude of a lot of gamers out there who are increasingly feeling cornered by those companies.

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