Samsung is set to shut down its custom CPU division based in the United States with up to 290 employees set to bear the brunt in layoffs.

The reports come from The Statesman after Samsung filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining letter in the state of Texas. This letter notifies the state that the 290 employees will be laid off due to the closure of this portion of its CPU division. It’s also reported that staff will face these layoffs from as early as December 31.

“Based upon a thorough assessment of our System LSI [large scale integration – ed] business and the need to stay competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to transition part of our US-based R&D teams in Austin and San Jose,” the company told Android Authority in a statement regarding these sudden layoffs, they also added that Samsung remains committed to its US workforce.

We’re not quite sure how this will affect the next wave of Exynos chips that will no doubt be included in many upcoming Samsung handsets. Given that Samsung has huge R&D facilities dotted around the globe, the closure of the US chipset plant might simply be a way to focus on these other global regions. Alternatively, this could be a move that sees the end of Exynos chips in Samsung devices — although we feel that is unlikely.

Naturally, the usage of Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs in many US-only Samsung flagships also means that having development teams within the US does seem a little like overkill. This could simply be a re-shuffle of resources to markets that rely more heavily on the Exynos chipsets and custom CPU designs.

Given that Samsung has had a tougher 2019 than expected thanks to some Galaxy Fold failures and lower-than-expected profits, this is yet more bad news from one of Android’s biggest OEMs. Time will tell if we see a transition to Qualcomm chips across future Samsung smartphone lineups.

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