Intel cuts R&D roles in California, aiming to streamline operations and cut expenses

August 27, 2023

Intel is cutting 140 jobs, mostly in engineering and architecture roles, at its Folsom and San Jose sites as part of its strategy to reduce operational costs and regain profitability.

  • Intel is streamlining its operations to reduce operational costs and regain profitability.
  • Intel is maintaining its R&D capabilities as both hardware and software play integral roles in the company's success.
  • Intel is offering internal relocations for some affected employees.

Intel, the technology company, continues to streamline its operations by divesting business units and reducing its workforce. While no significant layoffs have been announced, the company has been implementing cuts across various levels, including its research and development (R&D) department.

According to a report by Sacramento Inno, Intel is planning to lay off 140 employees, with 89 job cuts at its Folsom, California campus and 51 in SAN Jose. The impact of these layoffs is most notable in engineering and architecture roles, affecting a range of job classifications. Specific positions affected include GPU software development engineers, system software development engineers, cloud software engineers, product marketing engineers, and system-on-chip design engineers.

These layoffs are part of Intel’s strategy to reduce operational costs and regain profitability. However, it is surprising to see the company downsizing its workforce at a key site. Intel’s long-term success heavily relies on its R&D capabilities, and software plays an equally crucial role alongside hardware in the company’s business.

The Folsom site has historically been instrumental in Intel’s research and development efforts, encompassing areas such as SSDs, graphics processors, software, and chipsets. Following the sale of its 3D NAND and SSD business to SK hynix in 2021, engineers working on related products either transitioned to Solidigm, moved to other projects within Intel, left the company voluntarily, or unfortunately faced layoffs. The recent reduction in GPU specialists is somewhat unexpected considering Intel’s plans to develop GPUs for various market segments, ranging from datacenter accelerators to integrated GPUs.

California serves as Intel’s headquarters and currently employs over 13,000 people in the state. This figure surpasses the employee count in Arizona but falls short of the nearly 20,000 employees in Oregon, two major manufacturing sites for the company. As of early 2022, the Folsom site alone employed 5,300 individuals. However, with the recent layoffs, nearly 500 positions have been eliminated from the Folsom R&D campus this year, following previous rounds of layoffs in January, March, and May.

Intel has indicated the possibility of internal relocations for some affected employees in its notifications to state authorities, according to the Inno report.

In conclusion, Intel’s ongoing efforts to refocus its operations have led to workforce reductions, including in its R&D department. While these layoffs aim to improve operational efficiency and financial performance, it is crucial for Intel to maintain its R&D capabilities as both hardware and software play integral roles in the company’s success. The impact on the Folsom site, historically significant for various research and development endeavors, highlights the evolving landscape within Intel.

Background Information

About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

Intel website  Intel LinkedIn

About SK hynix: SK Hynix is a important South Korean semiconductor company known for its innovative contributions to the global technology landscape. Specializing in the production of memory solutions, SK Hynix has played a vital role in shaping the semiconductor industry. With a commitment to research and development, they have continuously pushed the boundaries of memory technology, resulting in products that power various devices and applications.

SK hynix website  SK hynix LinkedIn

Technology Explained

GPU: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and is a specialized type of processor designed to handle graphics-intensive tasks. It is used in the computer industry to render images, videos, and 3D graphics. GPUs are used in gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile devices to provide a smooth and immersive gaming experience. They are also used in the medical field to create 3D models of organs and tissues, and in the automotive industry to create virtual prototypes of cars. GPUs are also used in the field of artificial intelligence to process large amounts of data and create complex models. GPUs are becoming increasingly important in the computer industry as they are able to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

SAN: A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a high-speed and specialized network architecture designed to facilitate the connection of storage devices, such as disk arrays and tape libraries, to servers. Unlike traditional network-attached storage (NAS), which is file-based, SAN operates at the block level, enabling direct access to storage resources. SANs are known for their performance, scalability, and flexibility, making them ideal for data-intensive applications, large enterprises, and environments requiring high availability. SANs typically employ Fibre Channel or iSCSI protocols to establish dedicated and fast communication paths between servers and storage devices. With features like centralized management, efficient data replication, and snapshot capabilities, SANs offer advanced data storage, protection, and management options. Overall, SAN technology has revolutionized data storage and management, enabling organizations to efficiently handle complex storage requirements and ensure reliable data access.

SSD: A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a modern data storage device that employs flash memory technology to store data electronically. Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs have no moving parts, resulting in significantly faster read and write speeds. This leads to quicker boot times, faster application loading, and smoother overall system performance. SSDs are known for their durability, shock resistance, and energy efficiency, making them ideal for laptops, ultrabooks, and other portable devices. They come in various form factors, including 2.5-inch, M.2, and PCIe cards, and are favored for their reliability, quiet operation, and reduced heat generation

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