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UK Regulator Approves AMD's Xilinx Acquisition

AMD Xilinx acquisition image
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today announced its approval of AMD's plan to acquire Xilinx in an all-stock transaction worth roughly $35 billion.

The CMA didn't offer many details about its decision at time of writing. "The CMA has cleared the anticipated acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. of Xilinx, Inc.," it said in today's update. "The full text of the decision will be available shortly."

AMD announced its plans to acquire Xilinx in October 2020. The deal would give AMD shareholders a 74% stake in the combined company; Xilinx shareholders would own the other 26%. Both companies' boards of directors unanimously approved the deal.

The companies then announced in April that their shareholders "overwhelmingly" approved of the deal, and AMD said it expected regulators to clear the acquisition by the end of the year. The CMA's decision brings that expectation closer to reality.

AMD has said the combined company would invest over $2.7 billion in R&D annually to continue development of CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, SoCs, and other technologies with more obscure initialisms. Xilinx's experience with deep learning—on which the companies have collaborated in the past—is likely vital to AMD's plans for the future.

This isn't the only major acquisition the CMA has considered this year. The regulator is also supposed to prepare a report on Nvidia's proposed acquisition of Arm by July 31. Let's see if recent support for that acquisition will lead to a similar decision.

  • NeoMorpheus
    When you run a company with good working ethics, good enough consideration to your partners and customers, your reputation helps you move forward.

    Glad this was approved and fingers crossed that the d!cks at nvidia are never approved to destroy ARM.
    Reply
  • escksu
    NeoMorpheus said:
    When you run a company with good working ethics, good enough consideration to your partners and customers, your reputation helps you move forward.

    Glad this was approved and fingers crossed that the d!cks at nvidia are never approved to destroy ARM.

    lol, good ethics?? I didn't know that AMD has any good ethics and good consideration. All I know if that AMD is not different from Intel, both are just out to make money. Let me cite you a few examples.

    1. AMD forbids all manufacturers to enable PCIE 4.0 support on non- X570/B550 boards. In case you are wondering, actually all 300/400 series boards supports PCIE 4.0. This is because its provided via CPU, not chipset. All you need is to ensure the board is able to technically support (meets the design specs). This is solely a marketing decision because it will kill off their X570/B550 chipset. Look at how much more you have to pay for B550 compared to B450.

    2. AMD initially allow their new 5000 series CPUs to work only on 500 series boards. But they later changed their mind due to pressure from manufacturers (to a certain extent consumers). One main issue cited by manufacturers was that they will be left with a huge amount of inventory thats basically obsolete. Again, a purely marketing decision (official reason given by AMD was extremely lame).

    3. I really pity all B350/X370 users who are simply "abandoned" by AMD. They simply "did an Intel". Came out with "refreshed" chipsets and board. X370 and X470 are actually identical chipsets. Differences were BIOS and board design.

    4. Both companies are simply here to make money and price their products accordingly. Simply look at the price of 5000 compared to 3000. Nothing wrong with selling higher price since it performs faster. Is this considered good ethics? Clearly no.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    escksu said:
    lol, good ethics?? I didn't know that AMD has any good ethics and good consideration. All I know if that AMD is not different from Intel, both are just out to make money. Let me cite you a few examples.

    1. AMD forbids all manufacturers to enable PCIE 4.0 support on non- X570/B550 boards. In case you are wondering, actually all 300/400 series boards supports PCIE 4.0. This is because its provided via CPU, not chipset. All you need is to ensure the board is able to technically support (meets the design specs). This is solely a marketing decision because it will kill off their X570/B550 chipset. Look at how much more you have to pay for B550 compared to B450.

    2. AMD initially allow their new 5000 series CPUs to work only on 500 series boards. But they later changed their mind due to pressure from manufacturers (to a certain extent consumers). One main issue cited by manufacturers was that they will be left with a huge amount of inventory thats basically obsolete. Again, a purely marketing decision (official reason given by AMD was extremely lame).

    3. I really pity all B350/X370 users who are simply "abandoned" by AMD. They simply "did an Intel". Came out with "refreshed" chipsets and board. X370 and X470 are actually identical chipsets. Differences were BIOS and board design.

    4. Both companies are simply here to make money and price their products accordingly. Simply look at the price of 5000 compared to 3000. Nothing wrong with selling higher price since it performs faster. Is this considered good ethics? Clearly no.
    AMD is like Intel and Nvidia in the sense they are all profit seeking companies. Some of the decisions that you mentioned are made I believe partially due to profit reasons, and partially due to the design. For example, PCI-E 4.0 can be enabled on say X470, but AMD did not allow it in the end. The fact is that not all X470 boards are made equal since there is no standard to say you must make it PCI-E 4.0 compliant during that time. So If you buy a budget/ mid end board that unfortunately don't support it, the experience across is not consistent. So I can understand why they made the decision to kill the plan to allow PCI-E 4.0 on X470. I was using a X470 Taichi board then, and I was certainly disappointed, but I get the point. After all, I am already contented because the same chipset works for Ryzen 1 to 5 series. For Intel, because you buy a budget chipset like the B460, it just last for 1 generation of CPU, that's all. So not sure what more can you expect here. And PCI-E 4.0 is not really beneficial for everyone, i.e. there may be no tangible difference for some users beyond running some SSD benchmark to see a higher sequential read/write number.

    As to the point on B350 and X370 users, just as you pointed out, the board designs are different. When Ryzen was first introduced, it was very different from the requirements from Ryzen 5000 series. B350 boards for example are not well built and so if someone was to slap a 5900X or 5950X and throttling like crazy, I don't see the point of force fitting it.

    Price increase, it is indeed unfortunate for consumers. But if you were running a business, would you have done the same? The fact that many companies are approaching AMD for custom SOCs and not Nvidia or Intel, gives you a good idea on their opinion of the latter 2 firms.
    Reply
  • renz496
    watzupken said:
    The fact that many companies are approaching AMD for custom SOCs and not Nvidia or Intel, gives you a good idea on their opinion of the latter 2 firms.

    that is not an indication to dictate which company is more ethical to the other.
    Reply
  • NeoMorpheus
    renz496 said:
    that is not an indication to dictate which company is more ethical to the other.

    Lets see, MS worked with NVidia on the first Xbox, yet ran to AMD right away and never came back.

    Same for Sony.

    Same for Apple.

    Then add the fact that every...single...time that nvidia releases some software solution, its magically locked to their hardware, never contribute or distribute in a way that the whole industry and all the consumers can benefit from it.

    And yes, they did release physx as open source, but only after everyone abandoned it and even that one, last time i read about it, had some gotchas.

    The truth is, AMD is capable of working with others and already established a positive image in the industry.

    For whichever their reasons, they have contributed plenty of good tech to become open standards.

    Are they perfect? no and whoever in here that is perfect should go ahead and throw the first stone.

    Then again, you and escksu might do consider yourselves perfect, so go ahead.
    Reply
  • escksu
    watzupken said:

    Price increase, it is indeed unfortunate for consumers. But if you were running a business, would you have done the same? The fact that many companies are approaching AMD for custom SOCs and not Nvidia or Intel, gives you a good idea on their opinion of the latter 2 firms.

    That is why business has nothing to do with ethics. As for why AMD was chosen has nothing to do with ethics as well. Its purely business.

    1. AMD is the only company that makes both gpu amd apu. From a technical pov, it makes sense to have both cpu and gpu from the same company. Take note that you do not require the fastest cpu/gpu for consoles.

    2. Pricing. Making both means amd could sell it at even lower prices than its competitors. Pricing matter even more than performance.

    3. Btw nvidia is doing custom soc as well, but for other applications, esp. automotive where margins are much higher than consoles. Both nvidia and intel are also investing into AI.

    So, whatever it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with ethics at all.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    escksu said:
    So, whatever it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with ethics at all.
    Absolutely true. The only entities that care about ethics are fanboys. Businesses don't make equipment purchases based on a company's business ethics.
    Reply
  • escksu
    spongiemaster said:
    Absolutely true. The only entities that care about ethics are fanboys. Businesses don't make equipment purchases based on a company's business ethics.

    If one really wants to talk about "business ethics", it would not be such ethics. It would be things like using child labor, conflict minerals, sustainability, CSR etc etc...

    But such ethics are more of things like meeting regulations and company reputation. Not because companies have good ethics.
    Reply
  • renz496
    NeoMorpheus said:
    Lets see, MS worked with NVidia on the first Xbox, yet ran to AMD right away and never came back.

    the original sales was did not go as high as MS hope it to be. and because of that MS asking nvidia to lower the initial price both party agree early on. nvidia then ask MS to honor the initial contract. it has nothing to do with ethics what so ever. and MS themselves also understand this. hence despite they no longer contract nvidia to do their console they still pick nvidia solution for their other product like zune and the original ARM based surface.

    NeoMorpheus said:
    Same for Sony.

    Same for Apple.

    AFAIK nvidia have no issues with sony. sony know what they get into when they ask nvidia to give them a GPU that can be used for their PS3 when their initial ambition to use Cell processor to handle both CPU and GPU did not go as they plan. as for apple the issue between the two mainly about software control.

    NeoMorpheus said:
    And yes, they did release physx as open source, but only after everyone abandoned it and even that one, last time i read about it, had some gotchas.

    are living in a cave or something? even before nvidia make physx open and more accessible nvidia PhysX is already one of the most successful third party physics engine only second to havok. when it comes to market share the split between havok and physx is about 50/50 with slight edge towards havok. so no it is not "abandoned" like you think it is.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    escksu said:
    If one really wants to talk about "business ethics", it would not be such ethics. It would be things like using child labor, conflict minerals, sustainability, CSR etc etc...

    But such ethics are more of things like meeting regulations and company reputation. Not because companies have good ethics.
    Correct, which is why I specifically said business ethics. If your CEO makes toxic political statements like the My Pillow CEO, companies will shy away from being associated with you. But there is no online cancel culture movement keeping track of which tech companies have screwed over other tech companies in previous partnerships.
    Reply