AMD Closes $50 Billion Xilinx Acquisition

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced on Monday that it has completed the purchase of ‘High Performance Computing (HPC) leader Xilinx.

The acquisition back in October 2020, was at the time valued at $35 billion. But one pandemic later, plus a global chip shortage and a rise in AMD’s share price, means the transaction is now valued at closer to $50 billion.

The deal also means that AMD can ramp up its competition with Intel in the data centre chip sector, as the Xilinx acquisition gives AMD the ability to offer a range of HPC tech, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and Adaptive SoCs.

Image credit: Xilinx

Xilinx purchase

Xilinx is perhaps known for its programmable logic devices such as FPGAs, and these accelerators speed up the processing of compute-intensive tasks such as machine learning and data analytics on a large scale, without the power drain that would accompany the addition of general purpose CPUs.

The acquisition had been expected to close at the end of 2021, but overran into early 2022.

The Xilinx business will become the Adaptive and Embedded Computing Group (AECG), led by former Xilinx CEO Victor Peng.

The combined firm is expected to have 15,000 engineers and will follow AMD’s usual operating model of outsourcing actual production and manufacturing to the likes to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC).

AMD said “AECG will remain focused on driving leadership FPGA and Adaptive SoC and embedded product roadmaps for its core markets, now with the additional scale of the combined company and the ability to offer an expanded set of solutions, including AMD CPUs and GPUs.”

“The acquisition of Xilinx brings together a highly complementary set of products, customers and markets combined with differentiated IP and world-class talent to create the industry’s high-performance and adaptive computing leader,” noted AMD CEO Lisa Su.

“Xilinx offers industry-leading FPGAs, adaptive SoCs, AI engines and software expertise that enables AMD to offer the strongest portfolio of high-performance and adaptive computing solutions in the industry and capture a larger share of the approximately $135 billion market opportunity we see across cloud, edge and intelligent devices,” said Su.

AMD said the acquisition provides multiple benefits,and will expand its customer base, and diversifying AMD into new markets.

This will be achieved by Xilinx’s deep strategic partnerships across wired and wireless communications, automotive, industrial and test, aerospace and defense, broadcast, measurement and emulation, and consumer markets – all of which complements AMD partnerships in the PC and data center markets.

Intel competition

Most observers point out the deal will increase the competition for Intel in the data centre space.

Intel had acquired Xilinx’s main rival, Altera Corp, for $16.7 billion in 2015, in what was then Intel’s largest-ever deal.

And some feel the AMD/Xilinx combination will have a more nimble offering, as AMD spun off its manufacturing factories nearly a decade ago, and uses TSMC’s fabs for manufacturing, as did Xilinx.

Intel on the other hand has retained its manufacturing capabilities, which has not been without its problems in recent years.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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