Will GlobalFoundries Inc. or some other manifestation of the oil-rich state of Abu Dhabi, be buying the chip R&D and business interests of IBM any time soon? And what would be the price?
With GlobalFoundries bringing up its Fab 8 in Malta, New York, and their long mutual history, it would
make a great deal of sense to bundle up a lot of IBM's researchers, R&D,
patents and its 300-mm wafer fab at East Fishkill and hand them over.
One sticking point might be the price.
Lenovo paid about $1.75 billion for IBM's PC business back in 2005. But
at how much would you value IBM's chip business and semiconductor
research? Is $1 billion too much? Is $2 billion not enough?
Two other sticking points might be U.S. national security and national pride.
its investment decisions and with public authority support IBM has helped
revitalize the northeast of the United States and New York State in particular. It has
helped to bring GlobalFoundries, Sematech, and the Global 450
Consortium to come and work in New York. Only last September IBM pledged to
contribute $3.6 billion to a $4.4 billion five-year spend on the future
of chipmaking, backed by the state of New York.
While IBM must do the right thing by shareholders,
it is in a position to co-operate with United States' strategic
objectives, be they economic or related to the strategic ability to
manufacture leading-edge chips. If IBM's chip business fell under the control of Abu Dhabi
that would no longer be certain.
But come on PC business continues to shrink and reduce into a small profit market now a days, so there is no comparison on these 2 distinct business strategies.
Exiting PC was overdue IMHO, but giving up the jewels overseas, with all the national defense projects and other high profile business. I do not see Intel, or other USA interest passing this up.
PC business is a low tech labor intensive business and does not require much CAPEX. Semiconductor still an high tech business(diversified fields and skills) with lots of CAPEX. Anyone can assembly PCs but only a few can still fabricate semiconductor.
It doesn't make sense for IBM to sell its Fab. They can keep their proprietary design and Tech in house, and do not have to depend on a foundry for a supply & schedule of Tape outs.. They do not want a Qualcomm issue.
IBM Rev in 2011 was $107 Billion, spending 2-3 billion on research is not hard for them speacially when they pulled over $16 Billion in profit, some major Foundries, don't even have revenue of $16 Billion a year.
I agree IBM can afford it
But why spend $2 or $3 billion on chip manufacturing R&D and "suffer" a profit of $16 billion when you could forego the expense and have a profit of $18 or $19 billion?
Unless chip manufacturing technology is strategic to the company (and the country?) that is?
A lot of other vertically integrated companies, such as Philips and Siemens in Europe and now we are seeing Hitachi, NEC and Mitsubishi in Japan are made different choices.
While it is nice to say that IBM should put American interest first, it is too optimistic to think that they should have such a duty. After all, they are a business, and they would make decisions that would benefit them the most. I agree that it is controversial, but such things have been happening to many companies in America for years.
Jeanette - http://www.lyonessscamreview.com