Late last week, Statesman reported that Samsung shut down the CPU at one of its R&D facilities in Austin and laid off 290 employees. This confirms month-old leaks that the company downsized the CPU design branch, which was responsible for Samsung's internal Exynos chipset.
has used a custom design based on an ARM license. Like some chips from Qualcomm and Apple, Samsung chose to create their own custom "custom" cores, (apparently boosting performance / customizing for their particular applications) rather than sticking to ARM's licensed Cortex designs like Huawei and MediaTek. Also note that Samsung has recently licensed some graphical technology from AMD to improve GPU performance in future chipset.
Although we do not have explicit confirmation that all of the laid off employees were specifically tied to chipset design, and we do not know what specific responsibilities the Austin Research Center may have had, the statesman has confirmed that the "Central Processing Unit Project" at the Austin Research Center will be laid down.
There is a new point of view. Instead of giving up the CPU design, Samsung has dissolved the "Mongoose" design team and formed a new team to develop a new and efficient CPU architecture.
̵1; Ice universe (@UniverseIce) October 2, 2019
Earlier, the leaky Ice universe claimed that the "Mongoose" design team should be laid off without completely killing its own CPU design. Instead, the company would develop a newer, more efficient architecture, though analysts and others have recently speculated that Samsung could switch its Exynos products all the way to the ARM reference design for CPU, as it did with the upcoming Exynos 980.
With so few details known, the news of closure and layoffs honestly raises more questions than it answers. We have contacted Samsung for more information on the future of Exynos chip sets, and we will be sure to update our coverage as we know more.
Following our inquiry, Samsung provided us with the following statement:
"Based on a thorough assessment of the System LSI business and the need to remain competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to transfer a portion of our US-based R&D team in Austin and San Jose, with over 20,000 US-based employees focused on design, R&D, investment and manufacturing for the next generation of cutting edge technologies, Samsung is still committed to supporting and grow our American workforce that is an integral part of the company's success. "
Not much is revealed, and we are still left with unanswered questions. Most importantly, we do not know how this will ultimately affect future Exynos pieces. The company told us that it will continue its efforts with the Exynos lineup, so it doesn't sound like it will be releasing its own chipset anytime soon.