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Rumour: Samsung keen to buy AMD

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It’s happened before, and it’s happening again. Rumours are swirling (yes, again!) that Samsung is looking to purchase chipmaker AMD as a way to rally against Intel and Qualcomm

Samsung is a huge global conglomerate, with its hands in many, many pies including chip fabrication – and the report claims that Samsung’s goal is to secure both the company’s CPU and GPU IP’s. They’d use that property to help it gain leverage over Intel and, mobile chip maker Qualcomm. It all stems from a South Korean news report, which quotes Samsung’s head of telecoms, saying in 2007, that:

it is necessary to consider the AMD acquisition in order to secure a new growth engine

With it being such an old quote, drummed up anew, it’s likely that this is yet another rumour that will fizzle away in to nothing. Would that be such a bad thing though? Samsung is a significantly bigger company than AMD is, and could afford to invest in to R&D, which is an area where AMD is faltering at the moment. AMD’s research budget is the lowest it’s been in a decade. It would help both companies – which is something Tom’s Hardware’s Lucian Armasu said earlier this year.

… by allowing itself to be acquired by Samsung, AMD would gain significant financial backing to achieve its most ambitious goals, strong marketing campaigns, chips built on cutting-edge process nodes, and access to a large portion of the mobile market (including Samsung, but also other manufacturers’ devices) in which to put its chips.

By acquiring AMD, Samsung would get a chip company that has much more experience in designing its own chips, access to the x86 architecture as well as AMD’s advanced GPU architecture, and entrance into the profitable server chip market thanks to both AMD’s relatively solid brand in that market and its experience.

The acquisition would greatly benefit both companies, but it remains to be seen if they see it the same way. Samsung may believe it can do just as well without AMD (unlikely, especially in the server market), while AMD might want to keep its independence for as long as possible (which may weaken the company too much in the future).

Take it all as rumour and little else – but what are your thoughts? AMD is not doing all that well, and Samsung could help Team Red with some much-needed research money. AMD, with its chip expertise, could help Samsung break in to the server market.

Last Updated: March 26, 2015

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