AMD Takes a Slice of National Semi

Looking to expand its chip portfolio beyond the PC and server, AMD Wednesday said it is acquiring the Information Appliance (IA) business unit of National Semiconductor .

Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed but as part of the agreement, AMD would acquire certain intellectual property and assets of the IA business unit including some 132 employees that currently support the IA business unit. The deal should wrap up by the end of August.

The IA unit consists primarily of the Geode family of products, as well as National’s cellular baseband business. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said the acquisition lets it put the Geode product line into thin client, smart display and set-top boxes and other embedded offerings. The company said the division will enhance its Personal Connectivity Solutions group’s (PCS) product portfolio.

“With this acquisition we intend to expand our commitment to our current customer base and markets, while creating new opportunities for AMD to extend the x86 architecture into new low power and high performance applications as the market demands, ” said Billy Edwards, vice president and general manager, Personal Connectivity Solutions group, AMD. “Customers are asking us to simplify their options – and our vision is to deliver a single industry-standard architecture that can be optimized for all form factors. We look forward to warmly welcoming the IA team to AMD. The addition of the talented IA team is expected to accelerate our ability to deliver value to our existing customers and in new markets.”

As previously reported, the granddaddy of chipmakers said it was considering selling off its Information Appliance (IA) unit, planning on cutting 5 percent of its worldwide workforce of 10,000 and outsource its advanced chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) . National says the IA unit accounts for less than 5 percent of its total annual revenue.

“This deal makes good sense for both companies,” said Brian L. Halla, National’s chairman, president and CEO. “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. We intend to work with AMD to ensure a rapid and successful transition for our customers.”

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