IBM closer to selling off chip smarts; report

Barb Darrow

IBM, which  is still in the process of offloading its X86 server business in a deal announced earlier this year, is now closer to selling off its chip-making expertise, according to a Bloomberg report.

The prospective buyer, as has been reported, is Globalfoundries, which Bloomberg said is more interested in an “acqui-hire” of IBM’s semiconductor technologists and IP rather than its aging chip manufacturing facilities in East Fishkill, N.Y., Essex Junction, Vermont and elsewhere.

Globalfoundries is a 5-year-old  joint venture by chipmaker AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is trying to focus the company more on cloud and related services and to deliver on a  vow to deliver $20 earnings per share by 2015. That goal is fueling a continuing wave of layoffs and the sale of technology deemed to be non-core. Still, whether divesting foundational technology like chip design and manufacturing is good for the company’s long-term prospects is an open question.

I’ve reached out to IBM and Globalfoundries for comment and will update as needed.

Image copyright Getty Images / Oli Scarff.

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