Bringing Real-life Physics into Graphics: Pattabhiraman Changes the Game

Always a Problem-Solver

If there is something that needs to be solved, it should be solved. That’s the motto Pattabhiraman Kalyanaraman has followed from a young age. Problem-solving is ingrained in his nature, and what he attributes to finally taking up engineering, his love for physics, and leading him to work for Intel.

“While solving problems, I like things to be structured and modular, just like putting together Legos. I think one solution can be used for multiple problems,” he said.

Pattabhiraman has been with Intel for almost two decades. While he joined the company in 2002, it was in late 2009 that his journey with the graphics team began. And, there was no looking back.

“Starting with Ivy Bridge, I’ve been part of every single graphics product,” Pattabhiraman, who is now the lead micro-architect of the Bangalore team, proudly says.

Physics Learnings for Advancing Graphics Technology

Years ago, while pursuing a master’s in physics, Pattabhiraman was certain about a future in research, tinkering with problems in a physics lab. That didn’t happen, but he did find a path to physics—through gaming graphics.

“Several aspects of physics come into gaming. The simplest actions involve a lot of physics laws, be it the trajectory of a flying rock or a bouncing ball. All of it needs to look real, natural. For instance, when someone steps on grass, the blade must move in a certain direction. Implementing the laws of physics helps bring realism into games,” he said.

Today, gaming has evolved, and is seen as a serious sport. For a frictionless experience, the physics compute and the 3D processing must be packed into a small amount of time. The higher the frame rate, smoother the gameplay. Pattabhiraman and his team are working to ensure a seamless gameplay experience, reduce power/battery usage for prolonged media playback, and improve general purpose computing. In addition, they are also dabbling with next-gen technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGHS

Pattabhiraman believes Gen to Xe was one of the biggest turning points for the graphics team. Xe graphics expands the horizon, covering all products from low power usage to high-performance gaming, Data Centers, and other markets.

He also points out that miniaturization has been a game-changer over the years and a trend we will continue to witness. Small form factors will come packed with more compute, capacity, and intelligence. These smaller devices will be ubiquitous, driven by the promising 5G and IoT trends.

Awards, Family, and the Sharpest Minds

Pattabhiraman has been a part of not one, but two Intel Achievement Award (IAA) winning teams. The most recent recognition was for Tiger Lake in 2018.

“It was a challenge thrown at us to improve the performance and power by 2X in back-to-back generations. We turned this challenge into an opportunity. It is at such times that you put in that extra hard work to find ways to circumvent a problem, and it brings out the best in teams,” he explained.

When not solving problems, Pattabhiraman is either jamming with his daughter or cooking for the family. Working with some of the sharpest minds at Intel, he believes in finding smarter ways for doing things and interconnecting different products based on the demand.

Fascinated by the game-changing technologies Pattabhiraman creates? Check out the opportunities at Intel India.

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