AMD seeks luck of the Irish with $135M investment for adaptive computing R&D
Pales in comparison to to rival Intel's presence in Dublin... for now
AMD plans to invest $135 million in strategic research and development projects in Ireland over the next four years, focused on what it dubbed adaptive computing research.
The US chipmaker said it intends to fund projects targeting technology for datacenters, networking, 6G telecoms infrastructure, and (inevitably) next-generation AI. The move is expected to create up to 290 highly skilled engineering and research positions, as well as a broad range of additional support roles.
Not surprisingly, the new investment is welcomed by the Irish government, which is supporting it via IDA Ireland, the country's industrial development agency.
"The Irish government, through IDA Ireland, is delighted to support this expansion, further solidifying our commitment to nurturing a vibrant ecosystem for research, development, and engineering," said Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney.
AMD last year acquired FPGA maker Xilinx in a deal worth $49 billion, and that company has had a presence in Ireland since 1994 for manufacturing and engineering. It is understood that the research and development projects will be at the former Xilinx facilities, with AMD stating that Ireland will now be home to one of its largest R&D sites in Europe.
"By further investing and expanding our presence in Dublin and Cork, we are committed to continuing to both drive innovation in Ireland and to support the European semiconductor ecosystem," AMD's senior veep for Marketing, Ruth Cotter, said in a statement.
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"Through this investment, our R&D teams in Ireland will design innovative high-performance and adaptive computing engines to accelerate datacenter, networking, 6G communications and embedded solutions while taking a leadership position on artificial intelligence," she added.
The figure of $135 million, however, pales in comparison to the investment by AMD's big rival, Intel, which last year disclosed that it was spending an additional €12 billion ($13.1 billion) to double the manufacturing space at its Leixlip plant near Dublin and ready it for its Intel 4 process technology.
Ireland has had great success at attracting big technology companies to the country, but this can also have its downsides. Last year, it was revealed that datacenters across Ireland were consuming more energy than all rural homes put together.
Last week, it was reported by the Irish Mirror that the percentage of metered electricity consumed by datacenters had risen to 18 percent from 5 percent in 2015, but quoted Climate Minister Eamon Ryan as saying that datcenters were a really important sector for the country and the government would not block them. ®