EETimes' Real, Clear Biz blog has discovered details of the fabless or asset-lite manufacturing strategy that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has been developing over the last few months.
A wayward stork sent by contacts within AMD dropped the package containing the information on the windowsill at the Real, Clear Biz blog's office this morning. The package came one week earlier than expected.
Apparently, the stork had used restricted military airspace between California and New York after President George Bush signed an order allowing commercial aircrafts to use the faster routes during the recent Thanksgiving Holiday.
However, the management of the Real, Clear Biz blog has informed the editor of the blog that the information about AMD's market-leading fabless plan cannot yet be disclosed to EETimes readers due to competitive reasons.
"The disclosure of this information can irrevocably damage our future ability to keep to ourselves details of other companies' management strategies discovered by accident or while reporting on these entities," said Bolaji Ojo, chief decision maker (CDM) at Real, Clear Biz Blog, in a confidential memo.
The memo addressed to Bolaji Ojo, editor of the Real, Clear Biz Blog, warned that the competitive environment could be dramatically altered if readers discover that journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidential any information discovered during reporting assignments.
"Readers might begin demanding details of companies' capital expenditure, R&D budget as well as analysts' consensus revenue and profit forecasts," the memo added. "Corporate investors, component suppliers, consumers and other interested parties might also be encouraged to think they need detailed information about their corporate partners before engaging with them."
Patterned after AMD
The memo from the Real, Clear Biz blog's CDM to the blog's editor noted that the new disclosure policy was patterned after the one unveiled recently by AMD.
Industry observers would recall that Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO of AMD, had repeatedly declined "for competitive reasons" to offer any information about the microprocessor maker's fabless policy.
Ruiz did not disclose the names of the rival semiconductor companies he feared could jeopardize the implementation of AMD's fabless manufacturing strategy.
It is believed that disclosing the names of AMD's rivals during a conference call could alert those companies that Ruiz considered them a dangerous obstacle to his company's success.
One of the companies, which the Real, Clear Biz Blog would only identify as the world's biggest semiconductor company by revenue, does not itself have a fabless, asset-lite or "asset-smart," strategy although the company does use IC wafer foundries, a spokesperson said.
"I have no idea why they [AMD] would be scared of the competition," the spokesperson for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said. "We do use foundries for non-core products."
The spokesperson for the AMD rival also said his company is in no way engaged in any spying efforts to discover the competition's manufacturing strategies.
"What we would do is watch AMD's analysts' conference call next week," he said.
That conference, which takes place in New York on Thursday, December 13, could force the management of the Real, Clear Biz Blog to reverse itself on the publication of AMD's asset-lite manufacturing plan.
During the conference, Ruiz and "members of AMD's management team will deliver key presentations regarding AMD's businesses," Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said in a statement.
It is possible that Ruiz could choose the opportunity to provide detailed information on AMD's asset-lite manufacturing strategy to the investment community, freeing up the editor of the Real, Clear Biz blog to do the same.
If this occurs, "please go ahead and disclose details of the manufacturing strategy to our readers," the Real, Clear Biz Blog's chief decision maker said to the blog's editor in the above-mentioned memo.
"Until then, they are entitled to their ignorance of AMD's plans even if this is creating uncertainties in their minds about the company," the memo concluded.
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