IBM has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to search out potential buyers for its semiconductor business.
Claims of its search for buyers comes from the Financial Times, quoting sources familiar with the move, which could involve a complete sale of, or finding a joint venture partner for, its semiconductor business.
News of the possible sale comes just two weeks after IBM agreed to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo, after Big Blue announced it would be turning its focus to cloud and Watson-based cognitive computing.
The FT notes that there are only a few companies in the world that would be in the position to buy IBM's chip business, which the company has spent billions on over the years in order to develop its manufacturing capacity. Rivals that could acquire the business include Intel, Samsung and chip manufacturing groups Global Foundries and TSMC.
Besides building chips for its own servers, IBM Microelectronics does third-party contract manufacturing and used to supply them for Sony's and Microsoft's gaming consoles. However, they've both since moved to AMD's chips, the Wall Street Journal notes.
According to the paper, Bernstein forecasts the unit's estimated $1.75bn in revenue last year will decline to $1.45bn in 2014, maintaining consistent pre-tax losses of $130m over the periods.
OEM revenues from IBM's chip business were down 33 percent year on year when it reported its fourth quarter 2013 earnings. The unit sits within IBM's systems and technology hardware division, which has seen a tough few quarters with Q4 revenues down 26 percent from a year ago to $4.3bn.
That came off the back of a tough third quarter for IBM's hardware business, particularly in China where hardware revenues declined 22 percent from a year ago.
IBM had not responded to ZDNet's request for comment at the time of publication.