What is Microsoft SiArch (and why did they hire a Sun chip guy)?

Summary:What's a SiArch and who's on it? Those are just a couple of the questions spurred by this week's revelation that one of the key developers of Sun's SPARC architecture, Marc Tremblay, has joined Microsoft as a Distinguished Engineer. Tremblay will work on the SiArch (Strategic Software/Silicon Architectures) team at Microsoft.

What's a SiArch and who's on it?

Those are just a couple of the questions spurred by this week's revelation that one of the key developers of Sun's SPARC architecture, Marc Tremblay, has joined Microsoft as a Distinguished Engineer. Tremblay will work on the SiArch (Strategic Software/Silicon Architectures) team at Microsoft.

SiArch is part of Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie's domain. From a recent job posting, here's what SiArch does:

"Strategic Software/Silicon Architectures (SiArch, pronounced "psi-ark") is looking for a senior technology manager to coordinate efforts working with one of our hardware partners, and to orchestrate the cross divisional development of Microsoft's technical strategy with respect to that partner, in a number of critical software/hardware boundary areas. SiArch reports into the Advanced Strategies & Policy division and is chartered with ensuring the success of novel advances in software and hardware by working cross divisionally to develop the Microsoft-wide strategies and build strong relationships with key hardware partners."

Bringing chip guys and/or former Sun folks onboard at Microsoft isn't unprecedented. Jim Rottsolk, Senior Director of SiArch, is a former Cray CEO. And another Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, Yousef Khalidi -- a former Sun utility-computing expert -- is one of the key members of the Microsoft Red Dog cloud-computing team.

In addition to interfacing directly with Microsoft's key hardware partners, SiArch also is helping set Microsoft's strategy in the parallel computing, green computing and adaptive computing arenas (as SiArch architect Ty Carlson's bio makes plain).

SiArch isn't the only group inside the company focusing on the challenges of parallel/distributed computing. A variety of teams at Microsoft are working to make Microsoft's operating systems, tools and applications better able to take advantage of parallel, distributed and multicore architectures. The longer-term Microsoft Tahiti and Midori projects are both part of these efforts.

Topics: Oracle, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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