Samsung Electronics Co. said today it will close the CPU research arm of one of its U.S. companies. Analysts said the move represented a bleak outlook for the tech giant’s autonomous Exynos brand mobile chips. Samsung is trying to reduce its reliance on memory chips and increase sales of logic chips, which exynos mobile processor chips are seen as a sign of the company’s efforts. Logic chips are used in mobile devices and self-driving vehicles, etc.
The Exynos mobile chip, currently used only in Samsung’s flagship Smartphone Galaxy family, is a rival to Qualcomm’s mobile processors. But, in addition to its own use, Samsung’s own mobile chip is hard to find an outside buyer.
Analysts said the decision to close Exynos’ chip division represents a challenge for Samsung in its efforts to promote Exynos chips. The closure of Exynos’ chip division involves cutting about 300 jobs.
“Exynos chips are not used by other companies and are losing their place in the mobile processor market,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at South Korean brokerage Cape Investment and Securities. This has raised concerns in the industry about the competitiveness of companies. ”
The decision to shut down Exynos’ chip division has sparked speculation that Samsung will use a kernel design or semi-custom design from ARM. But Ms. Park also said Samsung was unlikely to abandon its Exynos chip business altogether.
Samsung said it would continue to develop and produce Exynos chips. Some of the 300 employees affected by the closure of Exynos’ chip division may be scheduled for other research and development projects.
Referring to its logic chip business, Samsung said in a statement, “Based on a comprehensive assessment of our System LSI business and the need to remain competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to move away from some of our research and development teams in the United States.” ”
A Samsung spokeswoman said the closure of Exynos’ chip division affected most of the employees, mostly from Samsung’s research and development center in Austin, and a small number from Samsung’s San Jose Jose) CPU project team at Advanced Computing Lab. Samsung’s Austin research and development center has been working on CPU kernel technology since 2010.
The spokesman also said that some of the employees have been laid off, and some will be transferred to other Samsung departments.
“Autonomous kernel technology research has brought less than expected value to Samsung’s entire logic chip business,” said the source, who did not want to be identified. ”
So far, Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest memory chip maker. The company said in April that it planned to invest $116 billion in logic chips by 2030.