Intel announced today it has hired top microprocessor architect Jim Keller as senior vice president to lead the company’s silicon engineering group, focusing on system-on-chip (SoC) development and integration.
The two-time AMD alum and the mastermind behind the company’s x86 “Zen” architecture leaves Tesla, where he was vice president of autopilot and low voltage hardware. Keller’s hiring follows that of his former AMD colleague, Raja Koduri, who left his post as head of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group in November 2017, to work on Intel’s discrete GPU designs.
According to reporting by Forbes, the pair will be teaming up with Koduri designing the IP cores, and Keller transforming them into products.
Keller has more than two decades experience in spearheading advanced x86 and ARM-based microarchitectures. While at AMD (circa 1998-1999 and 2012-2015), he was involved in designing the Athlon K7 processor, served as the lead architect of the K8, and designed the Zen cores that catalyzed AMD’s datacenter comeback. He also co-authored the HyperTransport specification and x86-64 processor instruction set. In between his terms at AMD, Keller worked for Apple on the team that designed the A4/A5 processors.
“Jim is one of the most respected microarchitecture design visionaries in the industry, and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group (TSCG), in a statement. “We have embarked on exciting initiatives to fundamentally change the way we build the silicon as we enter the world of heterogeneous process and architectures. Jim joining us will help accelerate this transformation.”
“I had a great experience working at Tesla, learned a lot, and look forward to all the great technology coming from Tesla in the future. My lifelong passion has been developing the world’s best silicon products,” Keller said. “The world will be a very different place in the next decade as a result of where computing is headed. I am excited to join the Intel team to build the future of CPUs, GPUs, accelerators and other products for the data-centric computing era.”
Keller joined Tesla in January 2016. He will be succeeded by Pete Bannon, a Tesla executive that previously oversaw Apple’s chip development.
Keller’s official start date at Intel is April 30.