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AMD finally goes fabless

Crystall balls Real men don't need 'em
Tue Oct 07 2008, 09:00

REMEMBER WHEN WE said AMD was going to split into a fab company and design company? Word has it that it will be announced in a few hours, likely before the opening bell tomorrow.

The story is basically what we first told you about in March, Arab, likely Abu Dhabi money will finance the split. The overview is remarkably simple, there will be two companies, basically a foundry and a design house. The deal is greased by billions of dollars, the number we hear is more than one, less than ten, all from bartered SUV go juice.

The OOo Impress version is quite simple, but the deal is likely shatteringly complex, which explains the year plus gestation, and why it took six months after we heard it was basically done. There are a lot of bits to tie up, and a lot of moneyed and politically connected asses to kiss. Better phrase that as egos to stroke while placating fears.

If you think AMD isn't worth it as a company, you are likely right. If you think of this as a strategic investment to put an entire country at the cutting if not bleeding edge of semiconductors, it is very worth it. There are 1.5 companies that can do semis on this level, Intel and sorta Samsung. Tier two has 2.5 players, Samsung, AMD and TSMC. To put it another way, China invested more in the Olympics, and what are they left with?

In any case, we are assured that finance isn't a problem for this deal. If it is done with oil money, that would be a no-brainer, and stock price is not a problem at this time. Basically it was done and all but dusted months ago, and now the loose ends are tied up.

That said, there are still going to be tons of questions when it is outed tomorrow morning, most will likely go unanswered during the announcements and subsequent questions. How will this affect the 20 per cent deal with Intel. Will AMD Design own the majority of AMD fab? Will Luther Park happen? Will Lassie warn Mom of the danger Timmy is in? Is there any government regulation that will need explaining? Will Wall Street even notice? Will SOI be out the door? How long will it take Nvidia to come a'grovelin? Will IBM and Chartered and Samsung and... like I said, questions.

In the end, we told you so. Six months ago. Nothing has changed except the seasons. µ

Further reading:

Abu Dhabi buys a chunk of AMD

Politics and more politics

Have cap, will travel

Sure he misspoke....


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