updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon April 2, 2012
Samsung may swing to ARM server tech
Samsung's chip manufacturing plant in Austin has raised attention for hiring a significant number of long-time AMD staff who have focused primarily on servers. Newly transitioned Opteron VP Pat Patla, but also VP and Chief Engineer Jim Mergard and Senior Fellow Brad Burgess, have all left in the past year. The plant is already being run by Keith Hawkins (no direct link), who used to work at Sun.
The hirings have been confirmed, although Samsung hasn't outlined its intentions.
The exact aims of the growing staff isn't clear. The server focuses could point to Samsung devoting some of its resources to readying ARM processors suited for blade servers and other very thin, low-power server clusters. Samsung may be hoping to diversify its production.
However, the nature of the Austin location has raised questions. It currently produces A5 and likely A5X processors for iPads and iPhones, and may not have the resources to split manufacturing for the sake of other projects. Apple isn't expected to branch out into any ARM server developments and, if involved at all, may indirectly take advantage of the former AMD veterans' extra knowledge of system-on-chip designs to refine the A6 or future components. [via Wall Street Journal]