AMD is splitting into two companies - one to design chips and one to carry out the debt-dependent business of actually making them. Two Abu Dhabi investment firms will hand over at least $6bn to the two new firms and to build a new chip fab near Albany, New York and to refurbish one in Germany. The chip-making business will be …
Was there something stopping AMD from fabbing chips for others in their (currently) wholly-owned foundries?
Is this just a way for AMD, in the event the new foundries continue lossing money, to only be in for 44.6% of the losses rather than the whole enchilada?
I would strongly guess capacity, to answer your first question (a NEW fab in NY).
Also, if set up to produce CPUs I'm not sure what their capacity to create small 'profitable' chips would be (basic packaged transistors etc). CPUs are used in limited numbers, where as smaller stuff can be turned out in silly high volume making it worth bothering with.
So no, I'd say this isn't AMD just trying to share their loses, I think it will work quite well for them. They worry about designing a good chip, someone else worries about foundry issues.
Plus, it's a way of getting someone else to 'upgrade' the German foundry given they don't have the money to do it, and they have to compete with Intel. Plus, a deal to nearly wipe out their debt (I say 'nearly' fully aware that $6bn is being handed over and there is $5bn debt, but we all know what accountants are like - I'm assuming I remember the numbers here).
So can we expect in 5 years time that Foundry will have gone bust and AMD to be turned into a patent troll?
Is this Transmeta playing out again?