Intel principal engineer François Piednoël, best known for his work as the architect behind the dual-processor high-end desktop (HEDT) Skulltrail platform, has announced he has quit the company after 20 years.
Following a military career spanning 26 years - about which he says 'don't ask, can't tell - François Piednoël was snapped up by Intel in December 1997 to act as its principal engineer. In that role, Piednoël fathered the company's first dual-processor high-end desktop (HEDT) platform, Skulltrail, launched the Extreme Edition brand, optimised performance on the Pentium 4, and aided engineering of the Katmai, Conroe, Penryn and Nehalem central processing unit (CPU) and Sandy Bridge to Skylake, Kaby Lake, Skylake-X, and Atom system-on-chip (SoC) product families.
In short, and unsurprising for the company's principal engineer, Piednoël has had his fingers in most of Intel's pies for the past two decades. Now, though, he's off to pastures new - and it looks like the news may have come as a surprise to Intel.
'This morning, I am informed [sic] my management that I do not wish to continue my employment at Intel,' Piednoël announced via social networking service Twitter late last week. 'New adventures coming, very exciting!' When asked whether these adventures would take place at Intel's longstanding rival AMD, Piednoël replied: 'NEVER! Because my knowledge about Intel is too deep, I would get lawyers knocking on my door next day. And I have worked on PC and CPU platforms for 20 years, it is time to do something different.'
Exactly what that 'something different' might be is not yet clear: Piednoël's LinkedIn profile still has him listed as principal engineer at Intel. Intel itself, meanwhile, appears to have been taken by surprise: The company has not made an announcement regarding Piednoël's departure and declined to comment when approached prior to the publication of this article.