CHIP DESIGNER AMD reportedly has hired JP Morgan to search for a buyer for part or all of the firm.
Although AMD had just about managed to struggle through its seemingly eternal battle with Intel, the firm has been unable to compete against Chipzilla and the many ARM chip vendors that drive the smartphone and tablet markets. Reuters reports that AMD has hired investment bank JP Morgan to find buyers for some of the company's assets or the whole firm.
AMD's stock price has taken a battering in the past year, making it an attractive proposition for other chip vendors. The company recently announced a 15 percent cut in its workforce and while AMD is trying to get into the ARM server market, those chips are not expected to turn up until 2014 and even then the firm will face stiff competition from established ARM vendors.
AMD's biggest asset is its extensive graphics patent portfolio, most of which it acquired when it bought ATI. It is highly likely that firms eyeing a buyout of AMD are interested in those patents that have yielded strong products in recent years.
JP Morgan will have its work cut out to find a buyer for AMD's assets aside from its graphics patents. While AMD's lucrative X86 processor licence would once have been seen as a valuable asset, these days, with the rise of smartphones and tablets, an ARM licence is a better value proposition.
Should AMD decide to sell the whole firm to the highest bidder then it will be PC customers that might suffer, with Intel left as the only vendor of X86 processor chips for the foreseeable future. µ