Rumors are circulating that chip maker AMD will split into two companies - one that's Asset Light and the other which is Asset Smart.
Here what TG Daily has to say:
It is widely expected that Asset Light will part AMD into two companies – one that is led by newly crowned CEO Dirk Meyer and a focus on the development of chip technologies and a manufacturing arm that will take over AMD’s fabs. Our sources indicated that critical decisions are being made at this time and the official announcement of Asset Light and Asset Smart will be made next month.
It's hard to decipher this Asset Light/Asset Smart board room jargon, but there is logic to a chip technologies/manufacturing arm split. That said, it's hard to see how this is going to:
- a) Be cheaper for the company (in the short-term at any rate)
- b) Allow them to compete more effectively against Intel.
It'll also be interesting to see where ATI fits into any split if it happens. AMD is working hard to try to stop us thinking in terms of CPUs and GPUs and instead think of AMD as a company that can deliver a whole platform. While performance wise AMD is having a hard time keeping up with Intel in the CPU front, having a platform does simplify the buying process for end users, especially those looking for a good value PC that's suited to casual gaming.
AMD is in desperate need of high-end (and as such, high price-point) desktop CPUs to be able to complete with Intel. High-performance CPUs would give the company breathing space as it clawed back market share from Intel. In the desktop sector AMD has noting that costs more than $235. Intel has one Core 2 Duo part, six Core 2 quad and four Core 2 Quads that are priced above AMD's Phenom X4 9950 (AMD price list here, Intel here).