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Qualcomm Buys Handhelds Business From AMD

By , Aaron Heibert - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 6 comments

AMD has sold its handheld chip division to Qualcomm. The news comes just a few days after rumors about further layoffs and salary cuts in the company.

The two companies detailed the acquisition in a release yesterday. The joint announcement said that Qualcomm had on Monday signed and closed an agreement that saw it acquire certain graphics and multimedia technology assets, intellectual property and resources that formerly made up the basis of AMD’s handheld business for a sum of $65 million. Qualcomm plans to hire design and development teams accordingly.

Qualcomm makes and licenses technology for a very broad spectrum of mobile handsets, including the popular HTC Innovation. It has been pushing its MediaFLO unit, which builds broadcasting systems for delivering digital TV to cellular devices – this area could benefit greatly from the recent acquisition of AMD's technology. Other aspects, such as the ever important user interface, will hopefully see changes for the better as programmers gain more powerful silicon to work with.

Over the last week or so, it emerged that AMD would be laying off a further 1,100 people and cutting the salaries of its employees and while acquisitions usually mean more layoffs as a result of overlap in staff, all is not lost. Under the terms of the agreement, Qualcomm is “extending the offer of employment" to various design and development teams from AMD’s handheld business.

Staff issues aside, the money is sure to some in handy for AMD. With the plans to cut 1,100 jobs, reduce the paychecks of current employees, the fact the company’s total cost of restructuring for Q4 amounted to $20 million more than estimated earlier in the quarter and a $5.6 billion debt stemming from its acquisition of ATI Technologies, $65 million won’t fix all of AMD’s problems but in this economic climate, it’s a case of every little helps.

Click here to read the full story on AMD’s financial woes or here to read the full press release from AMD and Qualcomm.

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  • 0 Hide
    sacre , January 21, 2009 7:10 PM
    Well, Nice knowing ya AMD. Nothing but falling for years, and with this beautiful recession in store, only to get worse, you're not going up... thats for sure.

    I wonder how much a company can fall before it finally hits bottom?

    Sad, i was once an AMD fan in the light of my computer nerd days. AMD this, AMD that. Now I go with whats better, and that would be Intel.
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , January 21, 2009 7:32 PM
    AMD won't die. If they fall too far, someone will eventually buy them out. That's a given. The debate rages every time they switch CEOs.
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , January 22, 2009 7:50 AM
    Agreed, I doubt AMD will be shutting shop anytime soon. No matter how bad things get there'll always be a company willing to snap it up.
  • 0 Hide
    sacre , January 22, 2009 6:23 PM
    JMcEntegartAgreed, I doubt AMD will be shutting shop anytime soon. No matter how bad things get there'll always be a company willing to snap it up.


    Well yes, A company will buy them out but it doesn't mean they will be putting up competition against Intel. Sadly, the path for AMD doesn't look promising.
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , January 22, 2009 10:49 PM
    The only reason to buy out AMD is for CPUs.

    Anyways, now that Ruiz has fled the scene, I feel confident that Meyer will be able to (eventually) bring the company around.
  • 0 Hide
    sacre , January 23, 2009 12:54 AM
    sebojThe only reason to buy out AMD is for CPUs.Anyways, now that Ruiz has fled the scene, I feel confident that Meyer will be able to (eventually) bring the company around.


    I want to ask you for your opinion, not being a jerk, being serious. Imagine, this company falls, and falls, while Intel goes further with new chips, better technology. Then the gap widens so much, it would be like comparing an i7 against a Athlon t-bird.. Then finally, some company comes in, spends millions, maybe billions to buy their company. And after spending that much on buying the company out, they need to rehire loads of specialists to start building on some new CPU's, in which will take years.. and by the time they come up with results Intel will still be way ahead because they're still making new cpus..

    Imho, I don't think any competition will be hitting intel for years, and years **IF** AMD falls and another company buys them out.