Report: AMD in Xilinx Acquisition Talks

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The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that AMD is in “advanced talks” to buy FPGA chip maker Xilinx, a deal valued at approximately $30 billion that would signify another step in the rise of Intel chip rivals.

The news follows a string of moves that will have profound impact on the HPC industry. Last month, Nvidia disclosed plans to acquire chipmaker Arm in a $40 billion deal that expands Nvidia from GPUs into CPUs. AMD, meanwhile, has been growing quickly on both the CPU and GPU fronts and now, with its sites set on Xilinx, may be on the verge of expanding into FPGAs, the lightning fast chips used in wireless communications (including 5G), military communications, radar, data centers and industries such as automotive and aerospace. Intel, meanwhile, made its move into FPGAs in 2015 with the $17 billion purchase of Altera, and it’s developing its own line of GPUs – the 7nm “Ponte Vecchio” chip is expected late next year or in early 2022. Also taking into account Nvidia’s acquisition last year of high performance network gear maker Mellanox, the net result is an overturning of the landscape among HPC component makers.

As for AMD-Xilinx, the Journal reported that the companies may agree on a deal as early as next week, though sources told that publication that previous negotiations had stalled before the current, recent restart.

Wall Street favorite AMD has seen its share prices skyrocket nearly 90 percent since January 1 and its total market value now exceeds $100 billion. Q2 revenue rose more than 25 percent to $1.9 billion as the company grew in the notebook and data center server market sectors.

San Jose-based Xilinx is led by CEO Victor Peng, a company that trails Intel in the FPGA market and is a tireless champion of broader adoption of field programmable gate array technology beyond the embedded telecommunications and defense sectors where it is strongly established.