Intel Reportedly Nabs Xbox Chief Hardware Architect John Sell

Intel continues to poach industry veterans in the graphics industry to advance its discrete graphics unit, which is scheduled to launch its first products in 2020. Intel got the ball rolling by nabbing Radeon Technologies Group chief Raja Koduri from AMD in 2018, and later nabbed AMD marketing director Chris Hook.

microsoft john sell
John Sell

More recently, Intel managed to pull NVIDIA Director of Technical Marketing Tom Petersen into the fold. Intel's hiring spree continues with the report that it has picked up John Sell, who was Microsoft's chief architect of the AMD-based SoCs powering the company's Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. Sell also lead work on Project Scarlett, which will be released next year.

Sell has a long and distinguished career in the hardware business including stints at 3DO and Apple dating back to the 1980s. Following his Apple gig, he found his way over to AMD where he spent 8 years working on both GPU and CPU product lines. Sell has spent the last 14 years at Microsoft, which dates back to the introduction of the Xbox 360.

Information on Sell's move to Intel comes from Fudzilla, which cites sources familiar with his plans. We have not yet been able to independently confirm this news, and since Intel has not yet said anything, we don't know what capacity Sell will be serving in at the chip giant. However, he could help on a number of fronts including integrated graphics, processor security (ahem, Spectre, Meltdown), and discrete graphics. Who knows, maybe Intel could look to challenge AMD in the console market in the future.

With that being, John Sell brings a wealth of knowledge to the table culminating with the inner workings of both AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processor architecture and the Radeon Navi graphics architecture. Both are 7nm designs that are incorporated into the SoC powering Project Scarlett: the next-generation Xbox.

Intel is looking tackle both the consumer and enterprise markets with its Xdiscrete graphics cards, and it will directly compete with AMD and NVIDIA. The company is well on its way to delivering the goods by picking some of the brightest talent from both companies, but it’s going to take a lot more to execute and compete on a consistent level with these two graphics hardware titans.