Science Technology - Published on Thursday, 01 March 2012 15:08 Written by Jacob Hugosson
Lately AMD has been doing quite well financially speaking, but it is sitll far from the glory days it once experienced. AMD has now acquired server builder SeaMicro, a name that often appear in the media thanks to its compact and energy efficient solutions.
SeaMicro gained a lot of attention when it built a compact server containing hundreds of Intel Atom cores and is one of the pioneers in servers for energy efficient and compact systems. The company has mainly worked with Intel's processors, but we're guessing this is about to change with this announcement.
AMD had a peak on the server market with its 64-bit processors, but lately slipped behind Intel and has a market share below 10 percent. AMD is of course not happy with this situation, and VP Rory Read said during the Analyst Day that it needs a double-digit market share in servers to make it worth the effort. The acquisition of SeaMicro gives AMD an important component that it has missed before to be able to offer a complete solution - something Intel has been much better at over the last few years. The reason for the acquisition is not that AMD is about to sell servers, but the technology SeaMicro holds and AMD wants to use.
SeaMicro has its custom ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), based on the PCI Express technology for connecting multiple computeres and systems, into a cluster. The technology will according to SeaMicro have both quick response time, high bandwidth and be efficient, which are all crucial to servers where the processors are just a small part of the total energy consumption.
SeaMicro's 512-core Intel Atom cluster
AMD is hoping to ship a more complete solution through this acquisition, with everything from processors to energy efficient communication buses. AMD will pay 334 million for SeaMicro, where the entire sum comes from its recently built up cash reserve.