Rumor mill: AMD and IBM could get cozy

Are AMD and IBM forging a partnership of some sort?According to analysts and rather thin reports, which may all be quoting each other for all we know, AMD and IBM are apparently getting cozy.

Are AMD and IBM forging a partnership of some sort?

According to analysts and rather thin reports, which may all be quoting each other for all we know, AMD and IBM are apparently getting cozy. The possible options and my take: A merger between the two. JMP Securities analyst Krishna Shankar said in a research note that there has been speculation which "may involve a strategic equity infusion or even an outright merger between AMD and IBM Microelectronics."

My take: There's little chance that IBM would acquire AMD--and all the headaches that come with it. IBM is about software and services primarily. Chips wouldn't fit into that equation.

A cash infusion from IBM.

My take: This would make a lot of sense (for AMD). It's unclear what IBM would get out of such an investment although it's likely Big Blue would be investing near a bottom. Shankar notes that an equity infusion would improve AMD's debt ratios.

A production partnership. Part of the speculation about AMD and IBM comes from the fact both have fabs planned or already in place for upstate New York.

My take: A great idea as the two parties could share technology on 32 nanometer fab and 300mm wafers.

An IP sharing arrangement/strategic alliance. Shankar said that a potential licensing partnership would make sense. AMD would get preferential access to IBM systems and software and the two could swap patents and technology.

My take: Some sort of cross licensing pact would also make sense and give AMD more enterprise heft.

Bottom line: AMD needs a big brother to fight Intel. IBM would fit the bill nicely.

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