SUNNYVALE, Calif. In another change in strategy, Advance Micro Devices Inc. has announced plans to retain part of its communications-chip operations, while continuing its efforts to sell the remaining portion.
AMD, which last October put its entire communications-IC business on the block in order to finance its core microprocessor efforts, now plans to keep its Network Products Division one of two main operations in its communications stable.
The Network Products Division develops and sells the company's PC-centric, LAN-based chip products, such as home-networking ICs, physical-layer devices, switching chips, and related devices. AMD will continue to look for a buyer for its Communications Products Division, which makes chips for the more mature telecommunications market.
A spokesman for the company indicated that the decision to keep the Network Products Division was made because of its strategic fit in relation to AMD's microprocessor business. "The original plan was to hold on to the IP [intellectual property] within the Network Products Division and sell the division," the spokesman said. "Now, we are rolling [the group] back into company."
Following sporadic but large losses associated with its processor business, AMD late last year stunned the industry by putting its entire communications-chip business up for sale. The move came at a time when several companies, including Intel Corp., were scrambling to enter or expand their product portfolios in the communications sector.
The AMD spokesman declined to provide details, but the company may have had a change of heart given the new set of dynamics unfolding in the PC market. OEMs of late have begun to push a new class of communications-enabled PC that supports several functions such as home-networking and broadband access in the same box.
AMD's communications ICs generated $292 million in sales last year.