AMD might be putting up a "For Sale" sign [Update]

Just a month after AMD announced layoffs that would affect 15 percent of its workforce, the struggling PC processor and graphics maker is rumored to have hired a bank to help it work through some future options.

Reuters reports, via unnamed sources, that AMD has brought in JPMorgan Chase & Co to assist in coming up with some financial choices. One of them could be a all out sale of the company itself. However, the report claims that option is not AMD's first choice and the company might just sell off other parts of itself to stay afloat, including some of its patents.  AMD has not commented on these rumors.

AMD is certainly in trouble as the number two maker of PC processors has not only lost ground to its main rival, Intel, but also has suffered through the overall decline of the PC market itself. The company's Radeon graphics chip business has also been far behind NVIDIA, but the company will have a version of the Radeon graphics processor inside the upcoming Wii U game console. There are also rumors that AMD processors will be inside the successor to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console along with Sony's next Playstation product.

Update: The Verge reports it has received an internal email sent out to AMD employees by its CEO Rory Read, who claims " ... we are not actively pursuing the sale of AMD or any of our significant assets."

Source: Reuters | Image via AMD

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This is very, very sad. I wish Google or Microsoft would buy them out. If Microsoft buys them, they would have their own brand of CPUs and therefore wouldn't have to rely on Intel's higher priced CPUs. PCs would be even cheaper I guess.

damn! I really don't want AMD to sink ship because kept Intel at bay if wasn't for AMD probably would have not seen 64bit nor multi core because Intel mentally "we weren't ready for it"

It's in Intels best interests to keep AMD stable financially..... AMD goes down or they stop x86 based CPU's now Intel is a monopoly in that area...

osuwildlifer said,
So, is this a good time to buy up a bunch of AMD shares?

Probably not with rumors like this flying round like these it's only going to hurt their value and undermine AMD's efforts to forestall a fire sale

I hope they pull through as well, but they need to step up their game. For example, as someone who makes a living with Adobe products, nvidia Cuda cards are the only ones that are supported (GPU acceleration), so they instantly miss out on tens of thousands of potential sales. For CPUs, I've owned nothing but i7's since they came out in one form or another.

Hahaiah said,
I hope they pull through as well, but they need to step up their game. For example, as someone who makes a living with Adobe products, nvidia Cuda cards are the only ones that are supported (GPU acceleration), so they instantly miss out on tens of thousands of potential sales. For CPUs, I've owned nothing but i7's since they came out in one form or another.

And if you ask me that's just from share laziness on Adobe's part for not coding for OpenCL instead of a proprietary language (CUDA) owned by nVidia by doing so they've done nothing but cut their market share off to spite their nose ... You want to be using API's that include the biggest market that can be used by everyone regardless of architecture (CPU or GPU) and that's OpenCL offers

Edited by Athlonite, Nov 14 2012, 1:12am :

Nvidia will buy them or some chinese company owned by the government, backdoors will now be easily slipped into CPU's for use by the chinese government

I really hope a government would block an intel bid. I wonder if Nvidia is wealthy enough to buy it or maybe just their x86 division and sell their gpu.

It would be awful if nvidia was allowed to buy their gpu division.

IBM could be a possibility if they want to get back into the desktop market and include amd's gpu in their server chips.

Samsung are a possibility but not likely.

Google could possibly bid, they have a ton of servers and tons of cash. They could build better server farms.

NastySasquatch said,

Yes, Apple doesn't like x86

iPhone, iPod and iPad may be popular, and ARM based, but Apples desktop and notebook products will be x86 for the foreseeable future. There was talk/rumour of Apple acquiring AMD last year.

NastySasquatch said,

Yes, Apple doesn't like x86 and AMD doesn't really do anything else well.

Apple has tons of money, they could hire intel's developers to make AMD competitive and use those chips in their desktops and laptops. They could put their graphics in their arm chips too instead of using imagination SXRxxx chips.

torrentthief said,

Apple has tons of money, they could hire intel's developers to make AMD competitive and use those chips in their desktops and laptops. They could put their graphics in their arm chips too instead of using imagination SXRxxx chips.

SGX actually not SXR.

imagine apple buying it out...if they turn it around and use it for their purposes only, they could leverage it well against both intel and nvidia and give them a run for their money.

just a thought...

That could be like the money they need, plus the chip fabrication capabilities...

xbbdc said,
Samsung should buy the processor side and branch ATI back out to its glory days.

xbbdc said,
Samsung should buy the processor side and branch ATI back out to its glory days.

How come the current AMD video cards have no "glory"? They been beating Nvidia's ass for several generations and the current state (with the 12.11 driver) is that they are pretty much equal on the top end, and it's a wipeout in favor of AMD on the mainstream (Nvidia's mainstream is either overpriced or underpowered, can't hit the spot the 7850/7870 are in)

They have been even beating Nvidia to market by several months in the last 2 generation of cards, and they beat them to DX10 and DX11 capable cards. (and in the case of DX11, by an entire GPU generation). Not to mention that they even beat them in process shrinking to 40 and 28nm.

All the "glory" days you are talking about was a single generation, the 9800pro going against the GeForce Ti 4600 and the then failed FX series, which was more of a mistake in part of Nvidia than prowess for ATi.

gonchuki said,

How come the current AMD video cards have no "glory"? They been beating Nvidia's ass for several generations and the current state (with the 12.11 driver) is that they are pretty much equal on the top end, and it's a wipeout in favor of AMD on the mainstream (Nvidia's mainstream is either overpriced or underpowered, can't hit the spot the 7850/7870 are in)

They have been even beating Nvidia to market by several months in the last 2 generation of cards, and they beat them to DX10 and DX11 capable cards. (and in the case of DX11, by an entire GPU generation). Not to mention that they even beat them in process shrinking to 40 and 28nm.

All the "glory" days you are talking about was a single generation, the 9800pro going against the GeForce Ti 4600 and the then failed FX series, which was more of a mistake in part of Nvidia than prowess for ATi.

You are correct, just that some people never liked it that AMD bought ATI and in the beginning they weren't producing the same great cards they once did. Now in today's day they have been first to market and beating nVidia in a lot of areas. I think we all just want the ATI moniker back!

This is something everyone in the PC industry will watch very closely. AMD is the only licensed maker of X86 CPUs (Intel created X86 and such doesn't need a license) and they obtained that license in an arbitration ruling between Intel and AMD in the 90s. Intel has stated time and time again that if AMD were to sell they wouldn't be required to transfer the X86 license and stated they wouldn't transfer that license.

That makes any potential sell by AMD of great interest to us as it could end up leaving us with a monopoly in X86 chips. The rise of ARM may help to stop Intel from going insane or it may not. I'm not sure we'll benefit in any way from an Intel monopoly though.

Good luck to AMD and hopefully this ends in a way that is beneficial to both AMD and the industry as a whole.

I just hope that their decline doesn't also torpedo the ATI part of their business because I love ATI graphics cards. Only having a single manufacturer of discrete GPU's would REALLY suck for consumers.

Move number one. Return ATI to what it was pre-AMD. The rest of AMD can figure out what it wants to do with the rest of itself.

Denis W said,
Move number one. Return ATI to what it was pre-AMD. The rest of AMD can figure out what it wants to do with the rest of itself.

AMEN, AMD ruined ATI.

Denis W said,
Move number one. Return ATI to what it was pre-AMD. The rest of AMD can figure out what it wants to do with the rest of itself.

so you want flawed cards like the X1800 (which had to be replaced with the X1900 to fix thermal and performance issues) and Matrox Parhelia-style flops like the 2900? Or may be you just want the "let's have one different card to enable crossfire" stupidity back? Choose one, and choose wisely. Because that's what you are craving for having back.
Read my comment below on how AMD fixed ATi.

eilegz said,
ARM or samsung should just buy AMD they could pull of some amazing stuff

I don't think Arm could afford it but if they did it would be awesome.

thealexweb said,

I don't think Arm could afford it but if they did it would be awesome.

yeah, arm aren't wealthy, they made $60m profit last year i think.

torrentthief said,

yeah, arm aren't wealthy, they made $60m profit last year i think.

Its weird how little profit they make considering how big an influence they have.

thealexweb said,

Its weird how little profit they make considering how big an influence they have.

Not really, they licence their designs and instruction sets for just a few cents each so they don't make much. I really hope they charge a lot more for their arm v8 instruction sets and their a53 and a57 designs and their new a15 designs and their new gpu designs otherwise they will carry on making little profit. I want them to make a lot of cash to help them improve even more, they are the future.

Wonder if Microsoft will pick them up? They stated recently that they wanted to do more hardware in the future, buying AMD would tick a lot of boxes.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
Wonder if Microsoft will pick them up? They stated recently that they wanted to do more hardware in the future, buying AMD would tick a lot of boxes.

That would be great!

Intel just has the market right now, but yeah lets hope they don't buy it or else competition will suffer more than it already is.

Gladiatorus said,
I hope Intel doesn't buy

It will cost Intel too much in monopoly charges to buy them... However Intel may go after their card division if its split up... Would give Intel something to go up against NVidia with

Gladiatorus said,
I hope Intel doesn't buy

Amen, I hope intel doesn't get anything from them. I like intel don't get me wrong, but intel getting hold of parts of AMD would be bad news for everyone and competition .

n_K said,

Amen, I hope intel doesn't get anything from them. I like intel don't get me wrong, but intel getting hold of parts of AMD would be bad news for everyone and competition .

I'd love to see some buy AMD's video card division because ATI is awesome and I wouldn't want to see them die.

I thought their video card business was doing quite well. The WiiU will feature a Radeon GPU and it's rumoured that both the PS4 and next-gen Xbox will feature AMD GPUs.

I really hope they can pull through. I'd hate to see an Intel-dominated market. History has shown us that less competition means less innovation and higher prices.

TruckWEB said,
Soon it's going to be Intel VS ARM.

With the market going gaga for small device, phone, tablet, ...

Yea but Intel will win that battle once they put true focus on the mobile market.

TruckWEB said,
Soon it's going to be Intel VS ARM.

With the market going gaga for small device, phone, tablet, ...

ARM chips aren't currently competitive in bigger devices though (desktops, servers, etc). As a desktop builder, it worries me that Intel won't have any competition in the desktop space if AMD tanks. Processor prices will go sky high

Majesticmerc said,

ARM chips aren't currently competitive in bigger devices though (desktops, servers, etc). As a desktop builder, it worries me that Intel won't have any competition in the desktop space if AMD tanks. Processor prices will go sky high

Their A57 chips coming in 2014 are supposed to be rather powerful, they will challenge the low-end amd/intel chips it appears.

torrentthief said,

Their A57 chips coming in 2014 are supposed to be rather powerful, they will challenge the low-end amd/intel chips it appears.

Here's hoping

xbbdc said,

Yea but Intel will win that battle once they put true focus on the mobile market.


What, Intel is getting their asses handed to them by AMD on the lowpower x86 solutions

king_of_hearts said,
Sad news.

Awesome news since they ruined the ATI and Radeon brands. AMD buying ATI was the WORST thing to happen to computer graphics.

NastySasquatch said,

Awesome news since they ruined the ATI and Radeon brands. AMD buying ATI was the WORST thing to happen to computer graphics.


Your full of it

NastySasquatch said,

Awesome news since they ruined the ATI and Radeon brands. AMD buying ATI was the WORST thing to happen to computer graphics.


Oh and how about those CPU's with build in ATI's? That outperforms any of its competitors in similar CPU/GPU chips.

Shadowzz said,

Oh and how about those CPU's with build in ATI's? That outperforms any of its competitors in similar CPU/GPU chips.

Or what about that same ATI that built a GPU that has the lowest idle power consumption of any GPU in existence?

Sounds like they totally ruined it...yea /s