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Old 15th Mar 2012, 13:48   #1
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AMD, Intel, Nvidia named as ST-Ericsson suitors

AMD, Intel and Nvidia have all been named as potential buyers for mobile giant ST-Ericsson.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...sson-suitors/1
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 16:27   #2
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Surely Intel would only be interested in the mobile-related IP that would come with the purchase?
With their own intent to put Atom/X86 into phones nearing fruition, and having previously been an ARM maker before discarding the capability, why would they buy in again?
I agree that it is possible that they may be trying a mobile-variant of the Centrino/Ultrabook strategy, where Intel present a complete platform to OEMs so they can "individual-ise" them.
Intel in the past has shown little interest in being an ODM, so I couldn't see them doing a Google and releasing either an Intel branded phone or selling a complete handset and having a customer slap their brand on it (such as a carrier, etc).

AMD just snapped up SeaMicro, and although they might have the cash, would they want to spend more so quickly? Also, AMD is a long way from a mobile-phone capable X86 (if they are even pursuing such a project, and I would think not as their hands have been full lately producing three X86 lines) or mobile-capable graphics to integrate AMD graphics into a SoC.
ARM licences aren't difficult to come by and AMD has a lot of experience developing CPUs and SoC designs (they even have a history with STMicro before AMD sold their mobile stuff to Qualcomm in 2009). Other than the IP gained, it might be better and cheaper for AMD to develop their own program.
EDIT: I forgot to mention AMD's Hondo APU. This Bobcat-based APU is intended for tablets as it consumes 4.5W, FAR too much for mobile phone use.

Nvidia is perhaps most possible, they have the cash to spend and would like to be able to offer a platform to customers and hasn't shrunk from offering their products in retail in the past (in competition with their customers). They haven't had huge success offering Tegra to the OEMs, so they may believe that by offering a complete platform it may encourage take up of Tegra. But they have both an existing ARM licence and an experienced development team designing SoCs for mobiles. Once again, they wouldn't gain too much over what they are already capable of.

Intel: If they want the IP or want to get back into ARM.
AMD: If they want to get quickly into the mobile space.
Nvidia: If they want to be a complete OEM and offer a full platform, or even be a full ODM.
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Last edited by Adnoctum; 15th Mar 2012 at 16:59. Reason: Further thoughts.
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 23:58   #3
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I don't recon it's be AMD. They don't have the cash, especially after their SeaMicro purchase.
Their current debt is $2 billion :/ (although, halved in the last year or so).
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 00:12   #4
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AMD are too much in debt to buy the companie enough a share deal is possible

Intel or nvidia most likely dout either would continue arm processors though as they would want to use there own tegra 3 or x86/atom.
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 04:38   #5
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Intel already owns Infineon's former mobile division, so besides buying up a competitor I don't see Intel buying ST-E.

I remember reading somewhere that ST-E had a contract with Global foundries to make their 28 nm SoCs, but unless Abu dhabi pumps more money into AMD I don't think they can buy ST-E.

As long I'm starting a new rumor, I think that LG would be better suited to buy ST-E (to compete with Samsung's SoCs and what not)
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 09:58   #6
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You have to be careful when expressing opinions about financial matters.
Having debt does not equal broke. Just like having a mortgage on your house doesn't equal broke.

AMDs financial statement (updated 2 weeks ago) shows they have long term debts of $2b (this doesn't include other operating liabilities such as taxes, insurance, leases or other bills).
It also shows that they have Cash & Equivalents (meaning cash or investments that mature in <3 months) of $870m and a further $900m in Short Term Investments (meaning investments that mature in <12 months). Such investments can be bonds, stocks, or other securities or even term deposits and can be converted into money before maturity.
So AMD has cash and short-term investments worth $1.75b.

If it was me (as an individual and not a corporation) I would use those investments to pay down the debt, but it is possible that in the current economic conditions and with tax breaks that servicing that debt costs less than AMD makes in return by investing.
But it also allows them to make opportune purchases (such as SeaMicro) or cover debt servicing in case of problems beyond their control (meteorite strike, zombie apocalypse, etc).

So with AMD purchasing SeaMicro for $330m a few weeks ago, AMD may still be able to make another purchase soon.
Also it is worth noting that it isn't STMicro or Ericsson that the speculation is about, but rather their joint venture ST-Ericsson. Problem is I haven't seen any rough figures for what ST-Ericsson would be sold for. The venture has been making some big losses over the last few years ($2b in 3 years) so it may be quite affordable, though it might come with extra debt (currently $800m with Ericsson and STMicro).
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Last edited by Adnoctum; 16th Mar 2012 at 10:07. Reason: Spelling
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