SAMSUNG IS SET to shutdown its custom CPU division in the US, according to The Statesman, which saw a Worker Adjustment and Retraining letter filed by Samsung to the state of Texas.
The CPU division is currently used to research and develop Samsung's Exynos mobile chips. But while these get popped into the latest Galaxy flagships, Samsung has been finding it tricky to find external customers to flog its silicon slices to, unlike Qualcomm, for example, which has its chips in a whole suite of smartphones and other devices.
Shutting down the custom CPU facility means some 290 jobs will be at risk. Samsung hasn't shed much light on the supposed layoffs but it did tell Android Authority it's doing a bit of re-jigging in the US.
"Based upon a thorough assessment of our System LSI business and the need to stay competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to transition part of our US-based R&D teams in Austin and San Jose," said Samsung.
As Samsung has Exynos development facilities across the globe, the move isn't likely to mark the beginning of the end for the custom mobile chips. But it would indicate Samsung is wrestling with a few chip challenges, not least as a lack of demand for its semiconductors saw its profits take a tumble in its latest financial results.
That being said, if Samsung really starts to struggle to find much of an appetite for the Exynos chips, then there's arguably potential for it to shelve them.
After all, Samsung already uses Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in some of its Galaxy phones, so it wouldn't necessarily take a big leap for it to completely move to Snapdragon SoCs and concentrate its chip work on memory semiconductors.
But this is all just speculation from us, so we'll have to wait and see what 2020 brings for Samsung's chips and the future of Exynos. µ
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