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AMD scoops up National Semi unit

Advanced Micro Devices has agreed to purchase National Semiconductor's information appliance chip business, the companies said Wednesday.

National Semi said the transaction primarily covers its Geode chip family, designed for use in set-top boxes and other electronics. Though no financial details of the transaction were released, National Semi said the information appliance unit accounted for no more than 5 percent of its total annual revenue, which topped $1.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Under the deal, AMD gains certain intellectual property and assets of the product line, along with 132 current National Semi employees working in the unit. As a result of the deal, National Semi will lay off another 65 employees working in engineering and marketing positions related to the unit, the company said.

"This deal makes good sense for both companies," National Semi CEO Brian Halla said in a statement. "This allows National to focus on growing our core analog business and improving our returns. At the same time, AMD will be able to leverage the Geode technology through their existing manufacturing and marketing infrastructure." National Semi announced earlier this year that it planned to sell the unit as part of a $30 million restructuring plan. At that time, Halla said he remained optimistic about the information appliance business but said he felt the market would take longer to develop than National Semi could afford to wait. Halla indicated that he plans to focus the company's investments on higher-margin analog technologies.

In May, National Semi reported it would close its cellular baseband processor unit. At the time, the company estimated it would garner roughly $16 million in potential cost savings related to the sale of the information appliance business and the shuttering of the cellular baseband unit.

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News source: C|net

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