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

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.

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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 has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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15 comments
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  • just more M$ dirty deeds

    Hiring engineeres from competitors should be banned under antitrust law.
    Linux Geek
    • Who should they hire then?

      I guess Microsoft should be hiring experienced "engineeres" [sic] from the local mall?
      mikefarinha
      • sure

        just hire fresh graduates and used car salesmen to comply with the law.
        Linux Geek
        • What about employee rights?

          So what if a top engineer gets tired of working for some company? You're law would prohibit him/her from applying for a job with a competitor.

          Do you think things through before you blather?
          mikefarinha
          • one can go to a non monopolist competitor

            There are plenty of choices.
            Better yet, one can volunteer for FOSS and receive donations.
            Linux Geek
          • Oh, living on donations, GREAT!!!

            [i]Better yet, one can volunteer for FOSS and receive donations[/i]

            Yeah, I'm sure top engineers everywhere are looking at that option. You obviously don't have a home and family to take care of. I can just see a husband and father going home to tell his family they are going to live off of donations, especially after getting top salary working for these "monopolies" you describe.

            Move along little boy.
            BFD
    • you're only saying that cos...

      you're only saying that cos you want a job at Microsoft.

      C'mon, we all know you love Microsoft - you never talk about anything else.
      TheTruthisOutThere1
      • Sure, as soon as he

        graduates from high school. Then - maybe - he
        can afford to move out of his parents basement.
        honeymonster
    • So when M$ signed a deal with Novell on

      interoperability, that should have been banned?

      Businesses make deals like this all the time. Work with this company X to accomplish this project Y. The people on both projects likely have to sign confidentiality agreements, and contracts to make sure that there is no espionage going on. Business as usuall.

      Otherwise this was just a *Yawn* article.
      xXSpeedzXx
    • What'Da

      Would your rule apply to truck drivers, accountants, shop assistants, politicians, plumbers .....

      Or is just engineers that you hate.

      If you would apply your rule to everyone then you're obviously a freedom hating control freak. Have you thought of applying for membership of the Chinese Communist Party, or taking up a career with FIFA, they hate the idea that footballers should have the right to choose the team for which they will play.
      RightPaddock
  • RE: What is Microsoft SiArch (and why did they hire a Sun chip guy)?

    You are so funny. Next we all should become communists
    and live free and under Linux.. This is a free world
    and you are not obligated to use technology from
    Microsoft. You should mention also that MS is
    blackmailing his family in other for him to work in
    MS.
    gustown
  • RE: What is Microsoft SiArch (and why did they hire a Sun chip guy)?

    Interesting. I'd guess it was precipitated by Sun looking for buyers
    in general and at IBM specifically.
    DannyO_0x98
  • Which Hardware Partner?

    I suspect it's InHell - since AMD is kinda in flux here. Why would M$ hire a Sun chip designer? There are a couple of possibilites that I see . . .

    1. Have you seen InHell's designers? They did such a bang up job on Itanic! Oh wait, the first generation InHell guys were canned and this crop is actually pilfered from HP. All that and they STILL can't get Itanic on-time or even up-to-par in performance. Don't they have a version of Windoze for Itanic? They had one for Alpha in the past . . .

    2. If you look at chip designs like Nehelem, InHell (actually ALL hardware companies) knows that it is much easier and faster to implement new technology in HARDWARE. Maybe M$ gets behind the ball and figures out what THEY want in a new chip design - and design their software with those functions in mind. Think MULTICS!

    3. Sun might want to buy Sun (although anti-trust guys would keep that from happening), so they need a Sun expert to help port Windoze to Viagra (and the upcoming Rock). Think about this, if M$ came out with a Windoze for Sun - wouldn't SOMEONE buy them, knowing that they could sell hardware with Windoze? W2k8 for Rock - wouldn't that really <i>ROCK</i>?
    Roger Ramjet
  • So What??

    Goldman Sachs hire physicists and meteorologists as quants.

    One of my best programmers used to be a marine biologist, another has a double masters in Economics & Law.

    A friend of mine worked for many years as an aeronautical engineer, he's now the Chief Operating Officer of a well known investment bank.

    So what's all the fuss about a major software outfit like MS hiring an electronics engineer - Easter must be a slow news time.
    RightPaddock
  • RE: What is Microsoft SiArch (and why did they hire a Sun chip guy)?

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