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But, according to Gartner analyst Sergis Mushell, Samsung’s recent hiring of former AMD processor architects -– even if they do come from a server background -- doesn’t necessarily mean it’s moving into the data center space.
For starters, he noted, Samsung hasn’t traditionally played in the enterprise market. It tends to aim its popular tablet and smartphone devices at consumers, and has very little if no track record at all of reaching into enterprise-focused markets, such as servers and data centers.
What’s more, the server market today is a saturated one, with tech giants including Intel, AMD, HP, and Dell having already staked a claim. It’s also a much smaller market compared to the global consumer market in which Samsung continues to grow, meaning it may not be worth a major strategic re-direction on the company’s part.
"For them [Samsung], the size of the server market and, given their penetration in the enterprise being limited, it is difficult to see that they would enter a market that they don’t have significant end equipment for," Mushell told CRN. "Secondly, there are already existing companies going after it [the server space]. I think in the consumer market, their efforts would be a bit more beneficial."
Rather than a server market debut, Mushell speculated that Samsung’s recent hiring spree could be part of a larger effort to customize its ARM-based architectures for the mobile or PC market -- a space in which it already plays. The company today relies on standard ARM architectures, but with further customization, it could yield devices with more memory, higher frequencies, or faster performance.
"It would make more sense for Samsung to be looking at improving and making architectural changes to their ARM [standards] to address the notebook market," he said.
Although the new architects hired by Samsung would have worked primarily with x86-based platforms at AMD, Mushell said that most architects are platform-agnostic, meaning they could ramp up quickly to work with Samsung’s ARM-based architectures.
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