Shlomit Weiss returns to Intel as new lead for chip development

8 Jul 2021

Silicon wafer. Image: Intel

Weiss, who previously led the team behind Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Skylake processors, will return to the company after four years.

Intel has announced that it is hiring former employee Shlomit Weiss to lead its consumer chip development and design. She will replace Uri Frank, who recently left Intel to join Google’s custom chip division.

Weiss leaves behind her role as senior vice-president of silicon engineering at Mellanox, now a part of Nvidia. She oversaw the networking chip design group, leading a team of more than 1,000 employees.

With 28 years of experience working with Intel, Weiss helped develop its dual-core architecture, for which she won the company’s highest award – the Intel Achievement Award. She then went on to lead the team that developed the Sandy Bridge and Skylake processors.

The Skylake architecture spanned Intel’s sixth to 10th-generation Core processors and multiple generations of server chips.

Based in Israel, Weiss returns to Intel as the senior vice-president and co-general manager of the company’s design engineering group and will be responsible for all of the company’s client chip development and design processes.

“I am thrilled to return to the place that had been my home for 28 years, where I grew and developed professionally, as a manager and as a person,” she said upon her appointment.

“I have been following Intel Corporation’s Pat Gelsinger, charting a new, bold strategy for the company, which I believe will accelerate the company’s leadership. I will devote my energy to ensuring Intel continues to lead in hardware and chips.”

Gelsinger’s great comeback

Gelsinger himself spent more than 30 years at Intel and was appointed the company’s first chief technology officer in 2000. This was followed by three years as president and COO of EMC and more than eight years as CEO of VMWare. He returned to Intel as CEO in February 2021.

Weiss, who holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, has registered several patents on microprocessor development. While at Intel, she founded the Intel Israel Women’s Forum.

Her appointment comes as part of Gelsinger’s decision to rebuild the company’s engineering roster. Weiss joins Sunil Shenoy, another former long-time employee who rejoined Intel in January, in co-managing the design engineering group in Israel.

The duo will work with chip architect Glenn Hinton, yet another former senior employee of Intel who has come out of retirement to rejoin the company.

In January, Hinton said that Gelsinger’s leadership influenced his decision to return to work on “an exciting high performance CPU project”.

Last month, Greg Lavender stepped down as CTO of VMWare, where he had worked alongside Gelsinger, and into the lead technology role in Intel.

Bob Brennan, a chip architect who previously spent more than two decades at Intel, also rejoined the company in June after eight years in other roles. He has been appointed VP of customer design enablement at Intel Foundry Services.

Brennan expressed his delight at being part of “the new Intel”.

Earlier this year, Gelsinger announced Intel’s new strategy for integrated device manufacturing, dubbed ‘IDM 2.0’. This ambitious roadmap to reinvigorate the chipmaker re-affirmed Intel’s plans to continue manufacturing the majority of its products internally while also building on existing relationships with third-party foundries.

Intel Foundry Services was then established as a new standalone business unit, aiming to become a major provider of foundry capacity in the US and Europe.

Intel Ireland general manager Eamonn Sinnott revealed that Ireland’s role in this ambitious plan would include the creation of 1,600 permanent high-skilled jobs at the company’s campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Additional reporting by Elaine Burke

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic