IBM, making further efforts to eliminate redundant work, will start a new division that will encompass 1,200 employees who develop processors and memory systems.
IBM's chip engineers currently develop for the machine produced by their division, ranging from a PC to a mainframe. But IBM more than a year ago announced a strategy of having machines of all sizes based around the same so-called "power" chip design.The new division, Systems Technology and Architecture division, will be based in Austin, Texas, but employees will remain in their current labs in Austin and three other U.S. cities.
The division will be led by Phil Hester, who now oversees development of the PowerPC microprocessor, a chip that runs workstations and personal computers. IBM designed the chip in conjunction with Motorola Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.
Under the new system, the engineers and their managers will ultimately report to the same senior IBM executive but will be grouped with each other rather than the divisions that create finished products. That way, an engineer affiliated with IBM's mid-sized AS-400 group who possesses expertise in a special manufacturing technique has more latitude to work with mainframe chip designers.