Rumour: Microsoft wants to buy AMD

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AMD’s not in the best financial situation at the moment, spurring perpetual speculation that the company’s on the lookout for a wealthy buyer to help it out of its pecuniary doldrums. For a while, we’ve been hearing murmurs and whispers that Korean electronics giant Samsung wanted to get its paws on the semiconductor business. Now rumours that another giant wants AMD are doing the rounds.

And it’s the Redmond giant. Citing inside, unverified ninja spies, Kitguru says that Microsoft approached AMD in a bid to take over the company. According to their quite possibly made-up source, Microsoft approached AMD months ago to buy the chip-maker, as they were unable to make their own competitive chips for their devices.

“The details about negotiations are unclear, just like Microsoft’s exact proposal to AMD,” say the chaps at Kitguru. “However, since Microsoft has $95.3 billion in cash, whereas AMD’s market capitalization right now is $1.81 billion, the software giant may buy AMD relatively easily. In fact, current value of AMD is three times lower than the company paid for ATI Technologies in 2006.”

One of the big driving factors that could swing Microsoft to buy AMD is obviously the Xbox One, which uses a custom AMD SoC as its source of power. According to some analysts, Microsoft pays up to $100 for those – and buying AMD could save the company a sizeable sum in the future. Microsoft could then leverage AMD’s chip-making prowess to power its own tablets, smartphones and its other devices. Microsoft would also hold Nintendo and Sony by the proverbial balls, as both other platform holders use AMD chips in their consoles.

And I just don’t buy it. Microsoft would likely get slapped by the competition commission, and its device partners like Intel and NVidia would end up throwing their toys. Still, I’d love to see the sort of things AMD would be able to do with Microsoft’s R&D budget, which gets used up for all manner of weird and wonderful things, half of which we never get to see.

Last Updated: June 30, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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