Intel Hires AMD Exec To Boost Data-Centric Software Tools


Intel has hired yet another former AMD executive, this time to boost the company's data-centric software ecosystem.

Mark Hirsch, who departed AMD in July, will start at Intel as vice president of competitive software programs on Aug. 13, according to a source with direct knowledge of the hire. Hirsch was previously corporate vice president of systems engineering for AMD's Radeon graphics technology group.

Intel and Hirsch did not respond to requests for comment by Tuesday afternoon.

Intel has made several recent hires of former AMD talent. This includes Raja Koduri, AMD's former chief GPU architect who is now leading Intel's Core and Visual Computing Group; former AMD graphics marketing head Chris Hook; AMD chip design veteran Jim Keller; and former AMD senior director of platform engineering Joseph Facca.

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Some of these hires are focused on or contributing to Intel's renewed effort to build a line of dedicated graphics processors, or GPUs. Some have been given far broader edicts, however, with Koduri leading development of the company's CPU and GPU technology and Keller leading Intel's silicon engineering team.

In Hirsch's case, the company is tasking him with leading the design and optimization of Intel's data-centric software ecosystem, which includes developer tools, libraries and APIs, according to the source.

Hirsch worked for AMD a little over a year, according to his LinkedIn profile. While there, he led the company's virtualization and machine learning customer engineering team for large data center customers, OEMs and systems integrators. He also created AMD's GPU data center and systems validation process.

Prior to joining AMD in 2017, Hirsch spent 14 years at Inventec, a Taiwanese maker of notebook computers, servers and mobile devices.

News of Hirsch's appointment comes one day before Intel hosts its Data-Centric Innovation Summit at its Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters.

Intel's decision to make its data-centric businesses the company's main focus has been galvanized by the fast growth of those segments, which includes the Data Center Group and Internet of Things Group, among others. In the company's second quarter this year, the Data Center Group revenue grew 27 percent year-over-year to $5.5 billion while other units also saw double-digit growth.

However, the company is expecting tougher competition from AMD, which has found traction with its one-year-old line of EPYC server processors. Before he resigned in late June, former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich reportedly told an analyst that Intel was expected to lose server market share to AMD in the second half of this year. Intel later said that while the company expects a "more competitive environment," it's in a "great position to compete."