AMD lays off open-source talent as part of worldwide cuts, says report

AMD lays off open-source talent as part of worldwide cuts, says report

Could AMD have shot itself in the foot by cutting open source talent?

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The staff of Advanced Micro Devices' Operating System Research Center has been laid off, according to a report from The H Online, dramatically reducing the company's ability to contribute to the Linux community and support its own hardware on the platform.

The job losses are part of AMD's previously announced decision to cut its worldwide staffing levels by 15 percent, as a response to poor sales and an increasingly niche role in the market.

The H Online reports that the OSRC - located in Dresden, Germany - employed 25 AMD workers. However, the publication added that the staff responsible for open-source graphics card drivers and accelerates processing units would be unaffected by the OSRC's closure.

Still, according to 451 Research senior analyst Jay Lyman, AMD may have done better to trim jobs elsewhere.

"Given the prominence and significance of open source software in the enterprise and in these areas of technology, particularly virtualisation and cloud computing, AMD may be limiting itself long-term by cutting what seems like a less critical component of its organisation in open source talent and expertise," he said in an email to Network World.

That said, however, Lyman added that it's important to realise the scope of the hurdles faced by AMD.

"AMD is obviously responding to dramatic market changes and disruptions, which include ARM-based enterprise servers, massive-scale workloads, virtualisation and cloud computing. The company is trying to focus its energy and make its bets on these technologies and get leaner by cutting where it can," he wrote.

The microchip maker announced the 15 percent job cuts last month, after posting poor third-quarter financial results.


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