Intel Hires Ex-AMD Lead Architect Jim Keller, Confirms Technology And Manufacturing Group Changes

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Wow, Intel is gearing up for innovation. I wonder what prompted that. Oh man, I have a feeling like in the next 3 years CPU capability is going to explode. With Intel FINALLY back on the war path, and AMD gaining momentum, we are going to see some great CPUs, hopefully.
 

stdragon

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Nah. The future is ambient computing; which is a fancy way for saying a bunch of embedded computers and IoT all communicating together to provide a seamless transition of the user experience. To reach that goal, Intel is going to need a lot of low powered CPUs - and ARM is nipping at its heals.
 

bit_user

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I just find myself a bit skeptical that this guy is such a unique and peerless talent. He certainly didn't design Zen by himself - he must've had many capable designers working under him. Is it not unreasonable to expect some in their number can step up, equal, and maybe surpass their former boss?

Anyway, it seems K12 was their custom ARM core:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_K12

Maybe he quit in frustration, after it was shelved. Given limited engineering resources, it was probably the right call to put it on hold. There was already a big market ready & waiting for Zen cores, but the ARM server market is still quite nascent and ARM desktops are almost nonexistent. The next XBox and Playstation would also probably prefer x86-64, as it would enable binary compatibility with current-gen titles.
 

bit_user

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All of these domains are fairly complementary. Adding more computation at the edge of the network doesn't actually reduce the need for computation in the core - it just allows the core to focus on where it can provide more value.

Also, IoT generates vast amounts of data to be stored and processed in the cloud.

And if Intel and AMD are both pursuing cloud computing via MCMs (multi-chip modules), then we'll hopefully see plenty of high-performance single-chip (and dual-chip) CPUs for desktops and laptops.
 

stdragon

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Correct. The edge will be powered by lots of individual lower powered CPUs and SoC platforms to provide a fluid UI experience. That's where the additional focus will be IMHO, just by the sheer numbers of it. Meanwhile, cloud infrastructure will continue to grow as well to meet this new demand of extra user activity at the edge.

But I have to wonder - At what point where will the future of PC gaming be? Will it become such a niche market as the "desktop" being relegated to something of a thin-client? Or will it be that the gaming PC is just a private reclassification of what would otherwise be in the realm of Workstation class hardware?
 

SkyBill40

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Disappointing. AMD has finally made itself truly relevant again and one of the key movers behind that jumps ship to the opposing team. He might as well call himself Kevin Durant.
 

I don't think it's necessarily him "jumping ship" so much as it is him not being constantly needed. If he's designing a new CPU architecture, he doesn't necessarily need to stick around after that core design has been finalized. He worked at AMD for a couple years in the late 90s, then left to worked at other companies including Apple, then came back to AMD for a few years to work on Ryzen, then went to Tesla for a couple years, and is now at Intel. He left AMD in 2015, well over a year before the Ryzen processors he worked on were released.
 

SkyBill40

Honorable


Oh, I'm aware of his penchant for short timing and jumping to a new opportunity. You go where the challenges take you and he's seen many, I'm sure. Still, it would have been nice to have him stay and continue to develop with AMD.
 

stdragon

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I don't think it's a brick wall insomuch as Intel (and the rest of the industry) is focusing on IoT devices and low-powered SoC solutions for edge computing devices. It's too soon to say for sure, but the trajectory looks to be that an ever increasing sales of cloud/server infrastructure as the Core series could get squeezed out of market share in favor of, say, ARM architecture.

Without getting prohibitively expensive, Intel needs to move volume of Core chips into the market in order to keep the costs down (because chip fabs are expensive!) for their high-end gaming consumer CPUs. At some point, the next generation of PC gaming CPUs might be from the Xeon lineage should Intel decide to deprecate the Celeron, Pentium, and Core architectures.
 
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