After months (years?) of speculation, AMD finally announced details of its plan to go fabless. Or is it Asset-Light? Or Asset-Smart? Let's just call it fabless, like everyone else in the industry.
Read the details in
A.M.D. to Split Into Two Operations - NYTimes.com.
Amidst a battered overall market, AMD shares had a nice pop today:
So AMD is going to get a cash injection from a middle east "sovereign wealth" fund, plus a commitment to further invest in the fabs that they will jointly own. This is a good short-term financial shot in the arm.
We know that AMD can compete with Intel on design. The challenge has always been, how much of a disadvantage do they suffer by not having the most advanced fabs? This will be the long-term challenge, to see how well the JV will be able to compete with Intel's fab muscle as we go below 40nm and use exotic recipes such as "High-K Metal Gate". At least AMD will live to fight another day.
Update: For some skepticism on the added value and future prospects of the plan, see the story and comments under Who Benefits From A.M.D.’s Financial Engineering? - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com