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.