Today Axios is reporting that Anand Chandrasekher, the leading executive in charge of Qualcomm’s server efforts, has left the company. Qualcomm has declined to comment on the departure at this time.

In 2017, Qualcomm announced the Centriq 2400 family of processors, built on Arm architecture cores, for the enterprise and server market. This was meant to be the big break for Arm cores in the server market by a massive player that has the engineering staff and infrastructure to build a sizable customer base. The biggest version of the design implemented 48 of Qualcomm’s Falkor Arm v8 cores, paired with 60 MB of L3 cache, six channels of DDR4, running at a 2.2 GHz base frequency for 120W TDP and a price just shy of $2000: it was set to compete aggressively in the cloud server markets in performance per watt, overall performance, and cost. To date, Cloudflare has made the biggest noise about transitioning its DDoS protection platform from x86 to Centriq.

However, in recent weeks, noise has been made that Qualcomm is attempting to sell its server chip division. Last week Bloomberg reported that Qualcomm was to abandon its push into the datacenter, and that it was looking to either shut or sell the business as it was not making money. This runs in line with a company earnings report last month where CEO Steve Mollenkopf told analysts that ‘Qualcomm is focused on spending reductions in its non-core product areas’. At this time, the server market is not a core area for Qualcomm, even if they have just spent 3-5 years designing Centriq.

Behind the Centriq push was Anand Chandrasekher, who has been leading the unit. He joined Qualcomm from Intel to lead its marketing in mid-2012 , and then switched over to the server role in late 2013 as the President of Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies. However today Axios is reporting that Anand has left the company. News about his destination is unknown, as is the fate of Qualcomm’s server unit and Centriq processors.

Edit: Anand posted this to his Twitter, confirming his departure:

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  • Quantumz0d - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    This is bad news. Not only Qualcomm wasted all their R&D and their steps into the server market when Intel is weak against Epyc. The Centriq was a bold step ahead. EETimes noted it wouldn't be the case when Broadcom bought them or their agenda.

    Seems like the investor pressure ramped up very high or the going private by Jacobs shook up the BOD. Too bad they had moved so much of the core design team to Centriq from Snapdragon and now this.

    Intel is an idiot when they were doing SoC they only had 2-3 companies Asus and Dell. Asus Zenfone 2 CPU perf was great at SD 805 but the PowerVR sucked. Instead of development of that they abandoned, add in the zero documentation unlike Qualcomm CAF.

    Seems like every company is now focusing on the short term stock gains like Apple. Zero substance. Unfortunate.

    Hopefully they at least come up with an 85x SD like 82x fill custom Arch unlike the ARM derivatives we have now.
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  • serendip - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Not good news. ARM on datacenter is a new market so it makes sense to stick with it for a few years while the hardware, software and user demand converge. I guess this means CloudFlare's interest means nothing and they'll go back to using Intel. Now Qualcomm has only the smartphone industry to rely on whereas competitor NVIDIA diversified into automotive computing and HPC. Reply
  • CityBlue - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    "(4)8 core processors are dumb" (c) Anand Chandrasekher 2013. Reply

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