“At Intel, I got the opportunity to work on and influence the entire product life cycle, from concept to productization, of flagship graphics products.”
Anil Kumar Jonnalagadda became fascinated by microprocessors and very large-scale integration (VLSI) while working towards his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. “The sheer ingenuity with which simple “transistors” are logically connected together to build microprocessors for computers that can be programmed to do pretty much anything the world needs ignited my curiosity to know more about how that is done.”
It was this curiosity that prompted Anil to reject a secure job as a software engineer in favor of the startup world, where he developed reusable soft IPs for IO subsystems. But Anil knew he could make a deeper impact elsewhere. Given his interests and aspirations as a VLSI design engineer, he considered Intel his dream job. “I was waiting for the opportunity. When a position opened, I applied, got through the interview process, and joined the server design team in the Bangalore design center – one of the earliest R&D teams at Intel India.”
As Intel renewed its focus on the discrete graphics market several new, innovative projects were born. “The most recent project was for a groundbreaking graphics product, and it is one of the most challenging and exciting assignments that I have ever worked on,” says Anil. The project? Building the first generation of a new product segment, one that enables impressive capabilities for Visual Cloud applications, stunning graphics rendering, video streaming, media analytics, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
As the SoC design lead, Anil was embedded in the project from the earliest stages, which provided him the opportunity to help shape the product design and establish a base for following generations of the product line. To put it simply, “What we set out to build was the largest single piece of silicon (chip) Intel ever built.”
It was a daunting task, one that Anil’s team fearlessly undertook. “Some of the technologies we used were first time intercepts and we had to actively manage the risks – risk of potential technological roadblocks and risks of cost/schedule overrun. Many of the building blocks that we used were not designed for this product, but we found innovative ways to adopt them. We had to re-design the team’s established recipe for building chips and develop a new one – after all, we are building the first product, which paves the way for following generations of the product line.”
It’s the opportunity to make such a lasting impact that makes Anil so excited to be a part of Intel India. “Intel is one of the few companies on this planet that develops technologies that have a lasting influence on mankind – ushering in technology advancements that are essential to the way we work and live. Being a pioneer and leader of technological advancements in the industry it’s a fast-changing work environment, ever pushing the technological boundaries and the way we do things, to bring world class-products to market.”
To engineers looking to make a difference with their work, Anil offers this advice: “At work, in an ever-changing industry where technological advancements and disruption is the norm, progress towards the end goal is usually not a straight line and at times can be testing. While technical prowess is essential, it’s not enough. I take some motivation from what my dad – my biggest role model – was able to do: continue with resolve and priority when the going gets tough. If you measure your success by the impact your work creates and the reach of your work on this planet, Intel is full of such opportunities for you to be successful.”
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