Microsoft scoops up former Sun chip architect Marc Tremblay, in a move that strikes a blow to the besieged software and systems maker and further enriches the software giant. The hire continues Microsoft's New York Yankees-like acquisition of top talent.
Microsoft has scooped up former Sun chip architect Marc Tremblay, in a move
that strikes a blow to the besieged software and systems maker and further
enriches the software giant.
New York Times first reported word of Tremblay's departure
from Sun to
Microsoft, where he will hold the title of distinguished engineer.
In a statement, Sun said:
"Sun can confirm that Marc Tremblay, Sun Fellow and CTO
for Microelectronics, has decided to leave the company. Rick Hetherington, who
has served as co-CTO for Microelectronics
with Tremblay, will assume leadership. We thank Marc for his many contributions
over the last eighteen years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Hetherington has been with Sun for more than ten years and has served as co-CTO
for the Microelectronics business unit for two years. Prior to that he spent
sixteen years with Digital Equipment Corp. working on various processors and
According to reports
in the Wall Street Journal
and other outlets, Tremblay will be joining
Microsoft's Strategic Software/Silicon Architectures group, also known as
But, you might ask, what would a software company want with somebody like
Well, the WSJ hazards a notion:
"Stepping back, it's easy to see how a person with Tremblay's talents
could help the company. Microsoft's Xbox division, for example, has to think
about which microprocessors to consider in designing a follow-up to its current
gaming console. Its Windows group, meanwhile, has to design new versions of the
operating system for the rapid proliferation of chips with many electronic
brains rather than one or two."
That seems to be close to the mark. The SiArch group works closely with
Microsoft's strategic hardware partners and focuses on areas including parallel
computing, green computing and adaptive computing.
A description of the Microsoft SiArch group said 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. The team works with the most senior
technical and business people at Microsoft at the forefront of the
software/hardware innovation areas" and helps set companywide direction.
However you look at it, Microsoft's hire of Tremblay, who worked at Sun for
18 years and helped architect the evolution of the company's SPARC line of
processors, is a coup. It is a continuation of Microsoft's New
York Yankees-like acquisition of some of the best
talent available. In another recent move, Microsoft
hired Jonathan Shapiro, a microkernel operating systems expert
professor of computer science at Johns