Meta to Lay Off Employees in Silicon Unit of Reality Labs Division

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is planning to lay off employees in the silicon unit of its Reality Labs division, focused on creating custom silicon for its metaverse-oriented products, according to sources familiar with the matter. The layoffs were announced to employees through Meta’s internal discussion forum, Workplace. Notification of their employment status will be given by Wednesday morning.

The Extent of the Layoffs

The extent of the layoffs in the silicon unit, known as the Facebook Agile Silicon Team (FAST), which currently employs around 600 people, is yet to be determined. FAST is responsible for developing custom chips for Meta’s augmented and virtual reality hardware.

Meta’s Current Product Line

Currently, Meta offers mixed reality headsets called Quest and smart glasses in collaboration with eyeglass maker EssilorLuxottica. These products feature advanced technologies such as video streaming and communication through an AI virtual assistant. Meta recently announced new versions of its smart glasses and its consumer-oriented Quest headset at its annual Connect conference.

Future Endeavors

Meta is also working on augmented reality glasses that can project virtual objects onto see-through lenses, along with associated smart watches. However, the company has faced challenges in producing competitive silicon and has relied on chipmaker Qualcomm for its current devices, including the Quest headsets and Ray-Ban glasses.

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Meta’s plan to lay off employees in its silicon unit highlights the challenges the company faces in developing custom chips for its metaverse products. Despite its efforts, Meta has turned to external chip providers, such as Qualcomm, for its current devices. Stay tuned for more updates on Meta’s developments in the augmented and virtual reality space.

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