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AMD Hires Bank To Explore Sale Options

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the who-gets-what's-left-of-ATI dept.

AMD 226

Dainsanefh tips this report from Reuters: "Advanced Micro Devices has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to explore options, which could include a potential sale, as the chipmaker struggles to find a role in an industry increasingly focused on mobile and away from traditional PCs, according to three sources familiar with the situation. ... Some investors believe part or all of AMD could be bought by a technology company that might want to emulate Apple Inc's tight control of software and components, a strategy credited in part for the success of the iPad and iPhone. Microsoft Corp, Google Inc, Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp and even Facebook Inc have been suggested by Wall Street analysts as potential suitors that could benefit from some of AMD's chip business, including its graphics division, PC processors and server chips. Others say AMD's most valuable asset may be its deep bench of engineers or its patents." Update: 11/14 01:44 GMT by S : In an emailed statement, an AMD representative said the company "is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time."

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226 comments

Oracle? Sony? (4, Funny)

Alworx (885008) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974209)

Oracle? So they can make some sense out of Niagara...
Sony? So they can make another poor decision... :-D

Disney? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974337)

So they can make Attack of the Clones?

At Least (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974255)

They hired the most mercenary company they could find in order to salvage what is left of their shareholder's wealth. I'm sure they've already parted with whatevery IP allowed them to compete to date. I wonder what J Pee Morgan will be able to find in this pile of smoking rubble...

Their real estate and facilities must be worth something. Too bad they don't own clear title to their employees. Chatel used to sell well, back in the day.

Re:At Least (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974801)

Sadly this is too true. As soon as you bring in the Wall Street Bankers to tell you how to run your business you are just handing out money that should have gone to the funeral. Sad to see this.

Re:At Least (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975573)

Actually the company was already dead sadly, the former CEO completely gutted the company [insideris.com] by firing ALL the chip designers for lousy software automated chip layouts, killing the next gen of the promising chips like Bobcat, and killing Thuban when he knew that bulldozer was gonna be a dog.

Let us just hope somebody buys them and turns the company around, they could do just as Intel did by going back to their K8 design and doing to it what Intel did to the P3 that became Core, because if they close their doors get ready to get royally fucked by Intel. You think their chips are high now? Wait until they have ZERO competition, hell the ONLY reason you have the Pentiums and Celerons is to keep a foot in the low to mid markets, no AMD? You won't find anything but Ultrabooks and $600 chips, mark my words.

Its a fucking shame, that's what it is, just a fucking shame. the Thubans still have a hell of a bang for the buck as do the Athlon triples and quads and work great for almost any task. I'm just glad i got my Thuban when i did, it should last me for a good 3 or 4 years and maybe by then this whole mess will have straightened out for the better.

One final thing, for those that are cheering ARM as its "anything but win tel"? Enjoy your black boxes suckers, Apple is showing the future there, locked down black boxes where you can't add shit, upgrade shit, and you throw it in the trash and buy another every couple of years because you can't even add fricking storage space to the damned things. don't think android will save you either, there are already several locked down Android devices out there, remember Android is based on GPL V2 and NO GPL V3 is allowed, that is so they can "TiVo trick" your ass.

Frankly I look at the future and i don't know whether to be sad or fucking disgusted, because it looks like we are gonna go back to the 80s, with everything proprietary, and damned if consumers don't line up to get screwed with a smile on their stupid faces...damn, just...damn.

i don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974279)

If this is about mobile becoming more relevant then how come Intel isn't looking for buyers?

Re:i don't get it (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974419)

Because comparing Intel to AMD is foolish. Intel is a monster with fabs and techniques second to none. AMD has always remained the scrappy underdog that had moments of glory, but in the end didnt have enough tricks up its sleeve to fend off the intel juggernaut. The plain fact is, intel processors soundly trump AMD in almost every conceivable metric that matters. Intel has better engineers, better techniques, more money, deeper research, it goes on and on.

Re:i don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974485)

Bribery and blackmail in the end gave Intel the edge over the competition.

Re:i don't get it (1)

corychristison (951993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974543)

...intel processors soundly trump AMD in almost every conceivable metric that matters...

I am a big fan of AMD. I really don't want to see them disappear. The /one market/ they have is cheap, high core density servers and they fucked that up when they laid off their Linux kernel devs.

I was in the process of speccing out some new 32-core (dual socket, 16-core CPUs) 1U servers and when I heard that I shifted gears... now I am lost trying to figure out what to do now...

Re:i don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974735)

Your servers wont stop working because they're not doing future dev work. Besides, they only canned some of their CPU developers, not all of them.

Re:i don't get it (4, Insightful)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974777)

...intel processors soundly trump AMD in almost every conceivable metric that matters...

I am a big fan of AMD. I really don't want to see them disappear. The /one market/ they have is cheap, high core density servers and they fucked that up when they laid off their Linux kernel devs.

I was in the process of speccing out some new 32-core (dual socket, 16-core CPUs) 1U servers and when I heard that I shifted gears... now I am lost trying to figure out what to do now...

And the terrible thing about that is that if you want a high density server, 16 cores per socket for instance, your choices are AMD for a reasonableish price, or Intel... oh.. wait... no.. no you can't. Because there don't seem to be any 8+ core Intel CPUs.

So, AMD 16 core part for $519 per socket for Intel for over $1000 for an 8 core. Plus far more expensive motherboards and such. AMD going down will likely end up a disaster for anyone wanting lots of cores and not wanting to spend $1000 - $2000 per socket.

Re:i don't get it (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974983)

And the terrible thing about that is that if you want a high density server, 16 cores per socket for instance, your choices are AMD for a reasonableish price, or Intel... oh.. wait... no.. no you can't. Because there don't seem to be any 8+ core Intel CPUs.

That's a shock, because I have a bunch of them here, bought over the counter from a server OEM. They run sixteen threads per CPU and they're stonkingly fast.

Re:i don't get it (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975115)

...and run as hot as the surface of the sun. So does my AMD FX 8120. I had to go liquid cooling to get that temp down. No heatsink & fan could get it done.

Re:i don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975145)

and run as hot as the surface of the sun

We're talking about high density severs here. You factor in the power & cooling requirements when you're specing the kit. Even the shittiest server closet can handle a few U's of 32 core CPU's. A proper data center can handle a whole rack.

Re:i don't get it (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974885)

I don't know that Intel has better engineers. They doubtless have more engineers. Intel also has fewer constraints on their engineers. It harder to build a low power chip on a larger process. Its going to be hard to beat, on instructions per watt, the highly competent engineers at Intel who have access to 22nm process when your fabs can only do 28 and larger, even if you put together an engineering dream team.

Re:i don't get it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975017)

intel processors soundly trump AMD in almost every conceivable metric that matters

Except price/performance.

Re:i don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975225)

mod parent up.

Always got AMD processor that was excellent for haft the price!

Re:i don't get it (1)

theonesandtwos (1349467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975285)

Is this not similar in some way to Microsoft and apple in the the 90's? If AMD goes away Intel is in a bad position.

Samsung (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974285)

They're the only likely candidate. Regulators would shit all over the idea of Intel buying AMD, even if they had a good reason to do it. nVidia might be interested, but again regulators would probably demand they'd divest themselves of the old ATi portion of the business. Facebook and Google? Don't see why'd they'd be interested. Dell or HP might have a sniff, but most of their business has always been built around high end Intel processors. Samsung are the only ones who make much sense, out of the list of potential suitors.

Re:Samsung (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974727)

APPL could conceivably give Samsung the middle finger by purchasing AMD. At least in part.

Re:Samsung (0)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975121)

I assume you mean AAPL. But I really doubt it anyway... Apple has bought several small companies who are *really good* at small, low power, high performance per watt hardware. AMD is the opposite of that. They're huge, and their only expertise is really low performance per watt desktop hardware.

Re:Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974753)

AMDooglerola! That's why Google would be interested! Plus (and more seriously, barely), I hear they're in the market for increasing their patent portfolio, and could probably benefit mixing AMD's and Motorola's businesses--particularly with AMD recently getting ARM64 licenses, which they could expand to ARM for Motorola devices. Plus Chomebooks, some of which are already using x86.

The question for ANY of them, though, is whether it's even reasonable for them to buy a company that is digging themselves into a grave right now. Is it worth the money to buy them and then bring them back up? You don't even get their fab any more, because they already split that off elsewhere, so it's really just a bunch of IP and if you can make the current employees happy enough, maybe some good people. Samsung might have less concern with that, just because they already have their own fab.

Although, if Samsung did... ATI equivalent to nvidia's Tegra comes to mind (and something tells me Samsung could make that smoke the Tegra)...

Re:Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974803)

AMD recently getting ARM64 licenses

Think about what you just wrote.

AMD was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974289)

It's too bad about this decline. I'd hate to have to buy all my processors from Intel.

AMD processors all support ECC memory, while Intel usually only supports it in the Xeon processors (which can cost thousands of dollars).

All Bulldozer-based processors and future generation AMD processors have hardware accelerated AES. Intel usually doesn't, but frequently they don't even specify it.

AMD was also committed to Coreboot for a while, which was great for our freedom. (Unfortunately, they haven't released the required specifications for their more recent chips.)

Re:AMD was better (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974369)

I hear ya.

I love the fact that my $549 special I bought 2 years ago is hex-core and has virtualization to run many VMs in VMWare. A shocking surprise to say the least where I do not need a XEON workstation to simulate networks. It was the best ROI for bang for buck I ever made. Sigh

Re:AMD was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974453)

I love the fact that my $549 special I bought 2 years ago is hex-core and has virtualization to run many VMs in VMWare.

Core density for running virtualization hosts has always been one of the few reasons to buy an AMD processor over an Intel, when it comes to servers. Other than that, AMD have never had the oomph.

Re:AMD was better (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974475)

My system I got for $549 had a nice ATI 5750 as well. I wanted a decent gaming system that was only 15% slower for 50% of the price. An intel one at the time would give me FPS in the single digits.

With the speed of the processors these days I could care less about the minor speed. It is a great value for a multi purpose machine that I couldn't get with Intel and Nvidia.

Re:AMD was better (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974523)

8 core processor on my desktop for $120? Yes please. "Not enough oomph"-- except on my desktop, where I have the ability to massively multitask while simultaneously nesting ESXi instances, all in a box that will cost under $500....

Seriously, what on earth does the average desktop user (those of us still alive) need with an Ivy Bridge processor? Lower power usage-- who cares? Faster single threaded performance-- except its already fast enough for 90% of desktop apps.

Re:AMD was better (4, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974477)

All Bulldozer-based processors and future generation AMD processors have hardware accelerated AES. Intel usually doesn't, but frequently they don't even specify it.

http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?AESTech=true [intel.com] Right down to the first-gen Core i5's

AMD processors all support ECC memory, while Intel usually only supports it in the Xeon processors (which can cost thousands of dollars).

http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&ECCMemory=true [intel.com] Even i3 CPU's support ECC.

AMD was also committed to Coreboot for a while, which was great for our freedom. (Unfortunately, they haven't released the required specifications for their more recent chips.)

You mean they not only failed to promote your freedom, they also reneged on a promise?

Re:AMD was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974927)

Only certain i3 pricey ones. No i5 or i7 that aren't mobiles and special OEM's.
Nothing but I3 and xeon support VT.

 

Re:AMD was better (2)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974991)

Even i3 CPU's support ECC.

To be fair he did say "usually" it's only on the Xeons. Those i3's listed are a minority of all i3's.

Re:AMD was better (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975159)

There are 24 Core CPU's with ECC support.

Re:AMD was better (2)

RelliK (4466) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975529)

You are either stupid or you are being deliberately misleading. I can see 7 i3's launched all the way back in... Q3 2012. Nothing before that, and no mainstream i5/i7's. All the other Core CPUs in that list are for laptops (sockets BGA1288 and FCBGA1023).

In contrast, every single one of the AMD CPUs supports ECC and that has been the case since AMD64 launched.

Re:AMD was better (4, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975065)

AMD processors all support ECC memory, while Intel usually only supports it in the Xeon processors (which can cost thousands of dollars).

http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&ECCMemory=true [intel.com] Even i3 CPU's support ECC.

Only for a small, random smattering of chips. The vast majority of i5s and i7s you find on Newegg and the like don't, and most systems that ship also don't include CPUs with ECC support. It's certainly not universal across all products, while AMD has made things like VT-x, VT-d, and ECC common to all their processors.

Re:AMD was better (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974895)

AMD processors all support ECC memory, while Intel usually only supports it in the Xeon processors (which can cost thousands of dollars).

While there are some very expensive xeon processors they aren't the ones that are relavent here. The relavent ones are those that have ECC support but are otherwise comparable to the desktop parts.

Intel does charge a bit more for xeon processors than equivalent desktop processors but the difference isn't massive as you imply. For example looking on newegg an "i7-3770K" is $319.99 while a "Xeon E3-1275 V2" is 356.99

The main downsides of going the xeon route ar lack of overclockability and needing a server board to take advantages of them. But IMO if you are the sort of person who needs ECC neither of those is likely to be a big issue for you.

Apple (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974317)

They want their own CPU and intel wont give the flexibility they want. Apple would gain their own GPU to tinker plus with bulldozer (or whatever they call it now) can have a nice APU for thei MBAs or IPADS with the x86 port replaced with an ARM.

Of course that would suck for us as I am typing this on an all AMD/ATI phenomII from Asus. But good for Asus investors since it looks like they wont survive this new recession that is starting.

Re:Apple (0, Redundant)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975215)

Apple will be the last to buy AMD. Apple are after small companies that have very specialised knowledge in producing low power, great performance per watt chips. AMD is a huge company that produced mediocre performance high watt per performance chips. They're the last people Apple would be looking at.

noooooooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974333)

no no no no no no no no
I don't want intel inside dammit! Twice the cash and the same fucking speed.

Someone give them a bailout.

Damn shame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974373)

AMD and ATI should have never merged. The companies were doing well independently, but together they're like oil and water.

Re:Damn shame. (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974545)

AMD wasnt "doing well independently", why do you suppose they spun off GlobalFoundries? Theyve been getting stomped since ~2006 when the core2 came out and dominated AMD's lineup.

Re:Damn shame. (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974827)

AMD wasnt "doing well independently", why do you suppose they spun off GlobalFoundries? Theyve been getting stomped since ~2006 when the core2 came out and dominated AMD's lineup.

One should also remember that wasn't it about that same time that Intel was paying server manufactures not to use AMD chips?

Re:Damn shame. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974971)

AMD wasnt "doing well independently"

AMD had two high points: the Athlon/Duron when Intel were trying to tell us the P4 was a good deal, and of course AMD64. They've always seemed to lack the guts to capitalize on their advantages, though.

Re:Damn shame. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974759)

AMD and ATI should have never merged. The companies were doing well independently, but together they're like oil and water.

No they weren't. AMD was already for a mugging victim of Wintel for many years and ATI was desperately in need of better process technology.

Re:Damn shame. (1)

leathered (780018) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975173)

On the contrary. Their graphics division is what's keeping AMD's head above water right now, and is still turning out competitive hardware. Also we wouldn't have had Fusion, which is more attractive than any of Intel's offerings for cheap laptops.

Despite this, sadly the end is near for AMD. People have always said that Intel needs AMD to survive to avoid any anti-monopoly action but I'm not so sure now. The battle lines have been drawn for the next chip wars and ARM is much better equipped to take on the might of Intel.

Can't see how this is a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974375)

No competition = higher prices = we suffer.

Come up with your own line of home servers. (1)

hessian (467078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974389)

Somewhere between Arduino, Raspberry Pi and the $279 HP PC I use for a media server, there's a fertile market.

People need small machines to use for everyday tasks, from automating other machines, to serving data, to experimental purposes in a lab.

Make yourself a custom chip-set, AMD, and install your own flavor of Linux on it.

Truly bring (computing) power to the people.

Re:Come up with your own line of home servers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974491)

Problem is, ARM and Atoms already do that at the low end, and an i5 will easily beat AMD on power/performance at the high end.

Re:Come up with your own line of home servers. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974569)

They have their own chipsets, and every time Ive used one Ive regretted it. Im about to make another attempt in a week or so, but I have a feeling its going to come back to bite me.

Re:Come up with your own line of home servers. (1)

corychristison (951993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974841)

Newegg sells "book PCs". Most of them geared to thin HTPC market. Thesebare fairly capable machines and can get one without RAM or HDD for ~$150-$200.

Bad move for any company (1)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974413)

I can't see anyone touching them with a ten foot pole unless the price is REALLY beneficial. AMD was done for when they bought ATI. You knew they were desperate then and even more so now. I know a lot of geeks love AMD, but they will never beat Intel because of Intel's brand recognition and DEEP DEEP pockets. And besides, Intel is in bed so bad with companies like Microsoft and Dell then AMD stands no chance of gaining anything there either. I could see Microsoft buying them as a last ditch attempt at catching Apple but if they did, it would be the end of Ballmer and many executives at MS. If they thought the investor fallout has been bad from the Surface debacle, this will be a hundred fold.

Re:Bad move for any company (2)

Vanders (110092) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974551)

I can't see anyone touching them with a ten foot pole unless the price is REALLY beneficial.

You can't see why anyone might be interested in acquiring their vast patent portfolio, x86 license and cross-licensing agreement with Intel?

Let's all just hope they don't do a Lucent and the patents end up being held by a mysteriously well funded holding company...

Re:Bad move for any company (1)

nanoflower (1077145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975407)

They can't buy the x86 license. If AMD gets bought out by another company then the x86 license goes away, as I understand it. It might be doable if an individual or some investment firm bought AMD (depending on the contract) but it won't happen if someone like Samsung bought AMD.

Re:Bad move for any company (1)

Vanders (110092) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975437)

The license is non-transferable but AMD as a legal entity is. Not only that, but Intel rely so heavily on patents owned by AMD that they'd never even consider attempting to revoke the x86 license.

Re:Bad move for any company (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974589)

They will never beat Intel because intel is a generation ahead and has their own foundry, which means they have better parts, better economies, and better sales, which allow them to maintain their own foundry and stay a generation ahead.

Re:Bad move for any company (1)

minijedimaster (1434893) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975327)

AMD owns a majority share in Global Foundries and I'm sure whoever bought AMD would also obtain that ownership. Global Foundries has a pretty modern FAB in Germany and I know is building a brand new one in NY right now.

deep bench of engineers ? (2)

Nutria (679911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974435)

That's worth something only if employees are bound serf-like to AMD, as opposed to being able to move to a different company if they don't like the new owner.

Similar post-sale exoduses happened when DEC sold itself off chunk by chunk.

Nonsense (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974437)

...AMD's most valuable asset may be its deep bench of engineers or its patents

Engineers profoundly hate to be sold along, as if they were pieces of equipment, with the company they work for. Moreover and ipso facto, it is nigh impossible to sell what engineers have in their heads: resourcefulness, the capacity to come up with ever-new ideas.

Patents ? Mebbe. Valuable for patent trolls, yes. Valuable for Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Oracle ? Doubt it.

Re:Nonsense (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974793)

Well, maybe. Think about the following scenario. Let us say you are a chip design firm that wants to get into server chips – we will call it ARM. You have 2 choices.

The first is to build your team up from scratch. Search the world over, recruit the engineers, move them to your headquarters (or wherever.). Hopefully you get the right mixture of people.

Or you could buy AMD. They already have design teams set up. Sure, you may lose 10% in a well-executed buy out – but that will leave enough core people to continue on.

You could substitute Samsung and graphic chips.

This, of course, makes huge assumptions about building a team from scratch vs. AMD team – but I think it is where you want to start.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975423)

Tthis is the bit that the MBA's don't consider: you're better off building your own team. Why? Because then you'll actually be able to get guys who are excited and invested in what you're doing, which means you're likely to get better results quicker. Just taking a ready made team and saying "I own you now. Forget everything, build something else for me." won't do that.

Just wow... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974463)

... I thought these people were supposed ot be experts in thier fields and stuff. I think even the most casual observer saw the market interest changing. Personal computing is evolving. They should have been evolving along with it. And what's intel doing? They remain quite relevant... not so much on the mobile end I guess... their Atom processor ain't quite it you know?

Still, for home appliances, Atom is pretty good stuff.

Re:Just wow... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975117)

Atom is getting there for mobile. It's always been higher performance than ARM, just a power hog. But they're rather rapidly catching up in power consumption, and still winning in performance. I expect Atom to overtake ARM for performance/watt within the next few years.

"Wall st. analysts" have suggested Intel? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974507)

This statement is either false, or "analysts" are even dumber than I expected.

Re:"Wall st. analysts" have suggested Intel? (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974819)

It's probably the time to mention that the qualification to be a 'Wall St Analyst' is to be standing on Wall Street and wildly waving one's arms like they're in the background of the Today show.

The fact that no specific analyst is being mentioned implies they couldn't even find that.

Why doesnt AMD just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974517)

.add more cores?

IBM (3, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974527)

IBM, so they can definitely revenge themselves for their humiliation at the hands of Wintel.

Re:IBM should .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974957)

IBM should most definitely considering how they let sun microsystem slip from their hands by a paltry few million. IBM needs to keep AMD's I.P. out of the hands of the WinTel group. IBM should buy AMD for ATI's I.P., and let Intel have the entire x86 market, and release 45nm or 32nm PowerPC's for the idiot PC users.

We need AMD to stay in the CPU busines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974539)

After the sale, I sure hope they continue to participate in the x86_64 CPU market.

We're already starting to feel the bad effects of the fact that AMD is not competitive anymore in the high end of that market.

If AMD left that market completely, it would be devastating to the industry. Intel's CPU innovation would cease, and prices would shoot up sky high in the mid and low segments of the x86_64 market.

Re:We need AMD to stay in the CPU busines (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974873)

If AMD left that market completely, it would be devastating to the industry. Intel's CPU innovation would cease, and prices would shoot up sky high in the mid and low segments of the x86_64 market.

And that would be the end of the x86 market. Arm would most likely take over and there are many Arm manufacturers.

Re:We need AMD to stay in the CPU busines (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974953)

Indeed. ARM is Intel's biggest competitor these days, not AMD.

Re:We need AMD to stay in the CPU busines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975495)

And that would be the end of the x86 market. Arm would most likely take over and there are many Arm manufacturers.

ARM is a different market. The ARM market would surely rise, but we would still need continuing support for huge ecosystem of x86 and x86_64 applications for years to come.

Without AMD in the x86 market, Intel would basically have the freedom to extort a huge amount of money from everyone for a good 5 to10 years before the industry could mobilize and switch their desktops and workstations over to ARM. In the long run ARM would win, but we would be in for an absolutely miserable decade making that transition, with Intel frantically price-gouging all the way to the bitter end.

Intel? (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974563)

Intel Corp ... suggested by Wall Street analysts as potential suitors

I realize it says "Wall Street analysts", but what utter moron even among that crowd of utter morons could possibly think having effectively all desktop CPU production controlled by a single company would be a good idea?

Re:Intel? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974763)

Intel Corp ... suggested by Wall Street analysts as potential suitors

I realize it says "Wall Street analysts", but what utter moron even among that crowd of utter morons could possibly think having effectively all desktop CPU production controlled by a single company would be a good idea?

I'm sure Intel would also decline the offer, even if AMD paid them and charged everyone else. Only because Intel knows they got in trouble for having monopoly power before, that acquiring AMD would be equally stupid and that would be very much against Intel's interests to be somewhat free of government oversight.

But to answer your question - people who want money think intel acquiring it is a brilliant move - remember monopoly isn't just a game, it's the ultimate winning move (if it wasn't for pesky governments getting in the way)

Hypothetically, in a free market libertarian style world where Intel acquired it all, they would literally be rolling in cash - every processor maker would be paying htem to license patents and other deals (I'm sure ARM, MIPS, POWER, SPARC, they all have something that would violate one of Intel's patents).

Of course, in a realistic world, what would happen is Intel would be forced to FRAND all the patents it holds as a condition of sale.

*Those* are your suggested options? (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974637)

"Microsoft Corp, Google Inc, Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp and even Facebook Inc have been suggested by Wall Street analysts as potential suitors"

Intel would never buy AMD. Face it - right now, Intel is *winning* in the market, pretty much legitimately (not 100%, and they used to cheat like mad, but right now they're winning more-or-less fairly). But they need a competitor to avoid a massive antitrust investigation. They need AMD as an enemy more than they need it as an asset.

Facebook would not, and could not, buy AMD. They may be riding high on the Web 2.0 Bubble, but they're an absolutely terrible match. Facebook's made it a point of using off-the-shelf hardware and open-source solutions. They have very little experience with hardware (besides setting up networks and racks), and gain nothing from producing their own hardware.

Google doesn't need them. They're doing fine running on commodity servers for their web stuff, and trying to produce their own mobile chips would anger their hardware partners for Android. It might give them a slight edge in the long run, but the short-term harm seems to outweigh that.

Microsoft *might* work. They need some special edge in the tablet war they just jumped into, and AMD is a good match with their successful Xbox line. But AMD isn't known to be particularly good at low-power chips. Perhaps they just haven't tried yet, or some older design could be successfully adapted into tablets (a single/dual-core, low-power K8 paired with a good Radeon design might be a good A6 competitor, especially if Microsoft tries to bill itself both as an 'enterprise' tablet *and* a 'gaming' tablet). But really, although it makes sense for Microsoft to buy some hardware company, AMD isn't the best choice. NVidia might make a better one, but I don't think they're looking to sell out right now.

Samsung might buy parts of the company, but they wouldn't want the whole thing. I imagine they would love the graphics section, maybe some of the CPU engineers, but I doubt they want to enter the full-on CPU market.

You know who might make more sense? Cray, or maybe IBM. AMD stuff is popular for supercomputers, both their Opterons and their FireStream/FirePro cards. IBM isn't too likely (they have enough good hardware people already), but Cray or one of their competitors seems at least more plausible than any of the other suggestions.

Another idea is some gaming company. AMD has a somewhat-competitive graphics division, and a compute side that could handle gaming loads well with some tweaks. Sony is really the most likely - they've *never* been good at the hardware side, only lucking into success with the PS1 and PS2 after some clever business decisions. But I also doubt Sony is smart enough to try to do that, especially since buying AMD might hurt their (Intel-focused) laptop business.

Re:*Those* are your suggested options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974855)

>But AMD isn't known to be particularly good at low-power chips.

By that measure, nobody is particularly good at low-power chips. Intel has process technology for microprocessors that is a generation ahead of every other foundry on the planet.

Re:*Those* are your suggested options? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975231)

"Microsoft Corp, Google Inc, Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp and even Facebook Inc have been suggested by Wall Street analysts as potential suitors"

Intel would never buy AMD. Face it - right now, Intel is *winning* in the market, pretty much legitimately (not 100%, and they used to cheat like mad, but right now they're winning more-or-less fairly). But they need a competitor to avoid a massive antitrust investigation. They need AMD as an enemy more than they need it as an asset.

I can see Intel tossing a few hundred million at AMD to keep them alive as a competitor, much the way Microsoft did to Apple back in the mid-90s.

Re:*Those* are your suggested options? (1)

tukang (1209392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975545)

But they need a competitor to avoid a massive antitrust investigation.They need AMD as an enemy more than they need it as an asset.

With Qualcomm recently surpassing Intel as the most valuable chip maker by market cap and Apple announcing that they're considering moving their macs to ARM, I would argue that Intel no longer needs to allow AMD to survive like they used to.

Re:*Those* are your suggested options? (1)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975551)

Another idea is some gaming company. AMD has a somewhat-competitive graphics division, and a compute side that could handle gaming loads well with some tweaks. Sony is really the most likely - they've *never* been good at the hardware side, only lucking into success with the PS1 and PS2 after some clever business decisions. But I also doubt Sony is smart enough to try to do that, especially since buying AMD might hurt their (Intel-focused) laptop business.

Sony did end up buying Minolta for their camera business, so them buying another hardware company isn't out-of-line.

Blizzard/Activision/EA could buy AMD though, make their own consoles.

Google? (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974675)

I only see Google buying them, or at least the ATI division, only if they want to do something like they did with WebM/VP8, push for open GPUs. can I dream right?

Re:Google? (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974871)

I'm calling it. Google buys them, and merges them with Motorola mobility in six months four days. Half the combined company is laid off, and the new company makes the must have next generation devices we techies crave like crack. Seriously, May 17th 2013 will be the day they announce. In future analysis, we'll learn that Google did it for the sexy graphics chips.

Hire back Linux Kernel Devs... (2)

corychristison (951993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974693)

Hire back Linux Kernel Devs and focus on servers.

The fact is that AMD's Opterons are very competitive perfomance and feature wise vs Intel Xeons. The price puts them over the top, though.

You can build 64 core, 1U servers for ~$5000 with moderate DDR3 ECC RAM and HDDs (you'd probably want a SAN though). Fully maxed out still less than $10K.

I respect AMDs cheap desktop and mobile lines but Intel is a juggernaught in this space. They have better contracts with more manufacturers.

Re:Hire back Linux Kernel Devs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975039)

No, AMD is doing quite poorly in the server space, their market share is 5%, and their dollar share is even lower. They are making next to no money from that space, and bulldozer based servers are a big disappointment.

Gee, all that money to McKinsey and BCG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974695)

... and the MBA consultants couldn't come up with a plausible path to victory in those nicely bound strategy reports filled with PowerPoint slides.

so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974729)

No! First you must give me my multiplier unlocked Opterons!

ATI is only thing anyone would want to buy (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974817)

The only thing anyone would want to buy is the graphics division - it's the only part that's competitive anymore. Reading the Piledriver review I was thinking, yes! 10% improvement over Bulldozer - keep this up and in another 4 years they might be competitive with Sandybridge

If Microsoft buys AMD, I'll never buy AMD again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974823)

I'd like to see AMD remain an independent company like Intel.

Remember the X2... (1)

poly_pusher (1004145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974847)

That was my favorite processor ever. I upgraded from a pentium 4 to the X2 series "actually the opteron 170 I think." It provided a dramatic improvement in performance over the single core P4, and trounced Intel's Pentium D.

Then Intel came out with the Core series, the Core2 providing a dramatic improvement over the X2's.

AMD responded with Barcelona, and it was all down hill from there. I promptly bought a Core2 based system and have been using Intel again ever since, AMD never became truly competitive again "I believe they've had some success competing at the lower-end."

I really loved AMD, they made some great products in the past but have slipped too far. I used to actually check out AMD's new offerings when they debuted, but I haven't done that in the past year. I just have no faith they can ever be competitive with Intel again. Sad really...

Remember the X2...

Re:Remember the X2... (1)

router (28432) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975007)

I love that AMD makes current gen processors that fit in previous gen mb, so I can do a cheap mid-life upgrade. Athlon X2 to Phenom 2 X4 (945) chip; AM2 mb. Awesome! Cheap. It will be a sad day if AMD goes away, left with only Intel expensive for homebuilds.... Only AMD has made sense for me, pretty much every time I was building a machine. Their cost-performance was the best for complete machine builds, not withstanding the cheap mid life upgrade bonus above.

andy

I think Apple might beneficiate from this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41974909)

Of all the proposed buyers, only 4 have enough cash : Apple, MS, Google and Intel. Intel can't because of monopoly concerns, and I don't see how MS or Google might use AMD.

  Apple, has infinite amounts of cash and is looking to expand vertically (take over control of suppliers) so why not ? Everybody agrees that what AMD lacks to fight Intel is money to invest. Well Apple has $120 billions in cash right now, surely enough to fund AMD's R&D to levels unheard of yet.

  I don't know exactly what they would gain from it, and I surely don't like the idea of AMD hardware being limited to Apple's Mac but I think it might be a sound strategy if they want tigher control on the silicon they put in their Macs which appears to be the case when you see their debates with Intel and switching macs to ARM.

  On an unrelated note : why did AMD/ATI turn its back on Linux ? can someone please tell me ? The ONLY mparket they were dominating was servers with 32+ cores, and they ALL (99%) run Linux or *BSD so WTF ? Microsoft has been in bed with Intel for ages and Linux has been waiting for a commited hardware manufacturer to bloosom in the dekstop market lately.

  I mean for a very long time linux wasn't user friendly enough for my grand ma but these days are over, nowadays the only obstacles are good hardware support and games (but Valves is coming). So AMD who amkes your strategic decisions because I don't see them being smart in the short term or the long term..

Probably looking for quick cash (3, Informative)

thedarknite (1031380) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974941)

The article text actually says that they are not pursuing a sale strategy but they need to fix their profitability. AMD is the GPU supplier for the Wii U, and early development boxes for the new xbox and playstation are running AMD chipsets. So AMD should just need to stay afloat until all the next gen consoles are released to return to being profitable.

Re:Probably looking for quick cash (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41974997)

Except when you say 'AMD', you really mean 'ATI'. High GPU profits won't much help if the CPU side keeps burning money.

Re:Probably looking for quick cash (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975127)

The Wii U is using GPUs only, the leaked details of the XBox and Playstation dev boxes have them using AMD for both CPU and GPU.

Also wasn't there an article a few weeks ago that AMD was looking to sell ARM based servers.

JP Morgan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975035)

JP Morgan sounds like desaster: bankster takeover.

se8 wiTh a shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975087)

collect any spiiled bunch of @retarded Survey which first avoid going

might be stale news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41975223)

speculation based on internal rumors... at one point, shortly before the recent layoffs, the execs supposedly offered to "sell" part of the company (ie some folks in markham that were laid off) to qualcomm. they declined, naturally, since why pay AMD for the privilege of hiring people that AMD's laying off (and who can then be hired directly, minus finders fee). this may be related to that line of inquiry.

Engineers? (1)

mad-seumas (59267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975375)

"Others say AMD's most valuable asset may be its deep bench of engineers or its patents."

I thought part of AMD's decline came about from them laying off engineers and moving to software-driven design instead of hand-crafting.

Nvidia! (1)

Golbez81 (1582163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41975517)

Wouldn't it be funny if Nvidia bought AMD? They used to make Intel motherboards and have wanted to get into the x86 business in the past but were denied. Intel hates Nvidia and knows they can compete, that's why they sued their motherboards off the market. It would be ironic if Nvidia bought AMD and scared Intel into a hole for retribution.
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