Business, Enterprise

Samsung to Enter Server Business? Hires Patrick Patla, Former AMD Server GM


Over the last couple of months, we’ve been following the flow of heads leaving AMD. Biggest surprise were departures of Jim Mergard, Brad Burgess, Frank Helms, Rick Bergman, Carrel Killebrew and just recently, we witnessed the departures of Eric Demers and Godfrey Cheng.

What is important to notice though, was where the former chief engineers and CPU architects resurfaced. Jim Mergard (16-year veteran, VP, Chief Engineer AMD), Frank Helms (Fusion APU architect), Brad Burgess (Bobcat APU Architect) all joined Samsung chip division in Austin, TX – and now they have a management head.

Patrick Patla was General Manager for Opteron i.e. server business and Vice President? until last Friday. Starting with April 2, 2012 – Patrick joined Samsung with the same title (VP), closely tied to currently undisclosed Samsung server business.

Samsung Exynos SoC processors are powering smartphones and tablets... are servers next?
Samsung Exynos SoC processors are powering smartphones and tablets… are servers next?

While critics might say that Samsung has no experience in server business and that it would take them years to build their own ecosystem, one must not forget that Samsung has a semiconductor fab in Austin, TX which needs to be filled with or without Apple AX SoC business. Recently, we heard of movements with NVIDIA and the delivery of first silicon from its Austin Fab and the move to the server market with Exynos, ARM-based SoC’s.

When it comes to building a server sales operation, Patrick is pretty much the best guy for the job, since he joined AMD as the company launched its first true server product, Opteron CPU (Athlon MP was the first official server part). Over the course of almost 10 years, Patrick built the Opteron ecosystem and now is joining Samsung Semi to probably do the same thing.

Bear in mind that AMD managed to capture more than 50% of server marketshare in 4-8P segment (four to eight processor motherboards), and if there is a person that can for example, beat Intel in its own game – that’s when the Korean perseverence meets American know-how. After all, Samsung fought Sony since 1980s and won (in terms of market share and profitability) and the company now wages a war against Apple. Is Intel next?