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Intel Hires Ex-AMD Silicon Design Exec To Lead Discrete GPU Efforts

The hiring of Masooma Bhaiwala comes as the semiconductor giant plans to make a big splash in the discrete GPU space, starting in 2020, with products targeting a wide range of segments from from high-performance computing and deep learning to gaming and mobile.

Intel has hired away a former AMD silicon design executive to lead the chipmaker's discrete GPU efforts ahead of the new product line's expected 2020 debut.

In a message to CRN, Masooma Bhaiwala said her full title at Intel is vice president, discrete GPU SoCs, a role that puts her in charge of discrete GPUs for client, data center and high-performance computing segments. She started in December, according to her LinkedIn profile.

[Related: Next For AMD In The Data Center: Tighter EPYC-Radeon Integration]

Bhaiwala said she is working in Intel's Graphics and Throughput Computing Hardware Engineering organization that is part of the Intel Architecture, Graphics and Software group run by top Intel executive Raja Koduri, the former AMD chief GPU architect who was hired away to jumpstart the chipmaker's discrete GPU efforts and other initiatives.

"After 15+ amazing years at AMD, I have decided to take on a different opportunity... It was a truly fun ride, with an incredible team, during which we built some truly cool chips," she wrote in a recent post.

An Intel spokesperson confirmed receipt of CRN's request for comment but did not provide a response with more details of Bhaiwala's hire by press time.

Bhaiwala is the latest former AMD executive to join Intel after the semiconductor giant scooped up Koduri from AMD in November 2017, which led to a series of hires from its top rival in the CPU space. Other AMD veterans that have joined Intel since then include Mark Hirsch, Jim Keller, Balaji Kanigicherla, Kalyan Thumaty and Joseph Facca.

Intel is planning to make a big splash in the discrete GPU space, with products targeting a wide range of segments, from HPC and deep learning to gaming and mobile. The chipmaker has previously said it plans to release its first discrete GPU in 2020, though it most recently has revealed details for a 7nm HPC and deep learning GPU, code-named Ponte Vecchio.

All of Intel's discrete GPU products will be based on the chipmaker's Xe architecture, which is meant to give developers a common framework. Under Xe, however, there will be "many microarchitectures that enable peak efficient performance at each one of those workloads," Intel's Ari Rauch said in November.

Bhaiwala had been at AMD for more than 15 years, having most recently served as a corporate vice president. Her LinkedIn profile states that she has more than 27 years of experiencing in "building silicon design teams and delivering on-schedule, high quality parts."

During her time at AMD, Bhaiwala worked on three semi-custom chips for game consoles as well as other semi-custom APUs and ASIC designs.

Prior to joining AMD in 2004, she was a senior RTL manager at Sun Microsystems and a senior verification engineer at Digital Equipment Corp.

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