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AMD's Geode exiles float to new Fort Collins center

Making chips in US's top city

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There's a new game sweeping through AMD's engineering ranks called the "Colorado Shuffle." The company has revealed plans to relocate about 75 of the workers affected by the closure of its Longmont office to a new design center in Fort Collins. Ultimately, the Fort Collins outpost will employ more than 200 people.

AMD's Colorado staffing plans are curious. First, it whacked 180 jobs from the Longmont office, which did much of the work on the low-power Geode chip line. That looked like a cost-savings move until a couple of papers unearthed AMD's plan to create 200 new jobs at a fancy Fort Collins design shop.

"The new center will employ chip designers, engineers, support personnel and possibly product marketing," an AMD spokeswoman told The Coloradoan.

But what will these folks be working on?

AMD already has chip design efforts underway in Austin, Sunnyvale, Boston and Bangalore. That seems like a healthy amount of design work for a company only eating up about 20 per cent of the x86 market today.

Well, it looks like AMD's Fort Collins effort will be centered around server gear. In March, we reported that AMD had picked up a number of Intel's Itanium boat people stranded near a Fort Collins creek.

Lucky for AMD, hiring chip engineers in Fort Collins is easier than making fun of IDC's Itanic sales forecasts. There's brains, brains and more brains in the Fort Collins' bars. Many local engineers lost their jobs as companies moved work overseas, but the workers refused to leave town. And why would they? It's the best place to live in the US.

We've put a call in to AMD, hoping they'll confess what the Fort Collins fuss is all about. But we'd sure love a firsthand account to backup what spin central dishes.

Thanks to Real World Tech for spotting the bait and switch. ®

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