Samsung Hires AMD Server Chip Specialists to Build ARM Server Offerings

Samsung to Rival AMD, Intel with ARM System-on-Chips

by Anton Shilov
04/03/2012 | 11:58 AM

Samsung Electronics has quietly began to hire various chip specialists from Advanced Micro Devices, according to a media report that is confirmed by filings in social networks. The semiconductor company is reportedly working on server-class microprocessors based on ARM architecture, which will eventually put Samsung into competition with AMD, Intel and many other companies.

 

Patrick Patla, who until very recently was vice president of AMD and general manager of AMD Opteron business unit, now serves as a vice president of Samsung Electronics in Austin, Texas area. Apparently, Mr. Patla is not the only former AMD employee to land in Samsung. Ex-AMD employees reportedly say Samsung has been hiring AMD processor designers and installing them in its Austin, Texas design offices in an effort to build server processors rivaling Intel’s Xeon products, reports Forbes web-site.

While the details are scarce, it is now expected that Samsung is working on ARM-based microprocessors for servers. The chips are projected to be very energy-efficient, yet powerful enough to compete against products like AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon. It is noteworthy that since Samsung does not have experience in developing server-class system-on-chips, it is likely that the final project will materialize years from now.

Samsung Electronics is not the only designer of chips, who is working on server SoCs using ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM v8 technologies. There are a number of companies, including Applied Micro, Calxeda, Marvell, Nvidia and others, who are developing appropriate products. Adding server-specific functionality to chips many not be a problem, but what remains to be seen is how powerful such microprocessors will be powerful enough to compete against x86 in terms of raw performance.

Many of former employees of AMD and ATI Technologies have left the company in the recent year after long-time executive Dirk Meyer stepped down early in 2011 and then Rory Read was appointed on the chief executive officer position in August.

AMD and Samsung Electronics did not comment on the news-story.