BNR – Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is set to restructure its Reality Labs division. The tech giant is reportedly focusing on silicon development for the metaverse.
The company plans to lay off employees in its unit called Facebook Agile Silicon Team (FAST).
The unit is dedicated to creating customised chips for Meta’s augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) devices.
Employees received notifications of the impending layoffs via Meta’s internal discussion platform, Workplace, on Tuesday.
They are expected to be informed of their employment status by early Wednesday.
The FAST unit, comprising approximately 600 employees, was instrumental in Meta’s endeavour to create unique chips for its devices. Indeed, this unit enhanced the company’s efficiency and functionality within the AR/VR field.
Challenges in Silicon Development
However, challenges in producing competitive silicon led Meta to collaborate with Qualcomm for its current device chipsets.
The restructuring of FAST has been anticipated since spring, coinciding with the appointment of a new executive leading the unit.
This move is part of Meta’s ongoing cost-reduction efforts. However, it could impact the development of Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious metaverse project, which aims to redefine human interactions with technology.
The metaverse initiative includes projects like augmented reality glasses, designed to offer immersive experiences within virtual worlds.
Meta Strives for Efficiency
Despite the challenges, Meta continues to innovate in the AR/VR space, recently unveiling new iterations of its mixed-reality headsets.
The company also revealed plans for technically advanced, lightweight AR glasses resembling regular eyewear, paired with smartwatches.
While the first version of this product is set for completion next year, Meta initially intends limited availability to consumers.
Meta’s restructuring, which began in November last year, has led to a reduction of around 21,000 jobs.
This strategic realignment is geared towards mitigating costs amid economic challenges, with the company assuring investors of its long-term vision in the ever-evolving AR/VR industry.