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IBM reportedly closer to selling off chip smarts

Barb Darrow

IBM, which is still in the process of offloading its X86 server business as a result of 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. Bloomberg said the company is more interested in an “acqui-hire” of IBM’s semiconductor technologists and IP than in its aging chip manufacturing facilities in East Fishkill, N.Y., Essex Junction, Vermont and elsewhere.

Globalfoundries is a five-year-old  joint venture from 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, it’s an open question whether divesting foundational technology like chip design and manufacturing is good for the company’s long-term prospects.

Spokesmen for the two companies declined to comment on “rumor and speculation.”

This story was updated at 6:41 a.m. PST with company comment.

Image copyright Getty Images / Oli Scarff.

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