Motorola and Advanced Micro Devices
are poised to announce a strategic alliance that involves trading patented
technologies. The deal is the latest in a series of partnerships for Motorola,
as the company seems to be moving to acquire more of the technology that
will be required to pursue systems-on-a-chip.
Details of the agreement will be announced Monday at AMD's Sunnyvale,
Calif., headquarters by AMD chairman and CEO Jerry Sanders, and Hector
Ruiz, president of Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector. The two
companies announced Friday the patent cross-licensing deal is expected
to affect the embedded and microprocessor markets, although specific
information was not released.
A Motorola spokesman pointed to several similar deals the Schaumburg,
Ill.-based firm has signed recently, suggesting Motorola is pursuing the
various building blocks necessary to implement system-on-a-chip devices.
Last month, Motorola teamed up with Lucent Technologies to improve its
digital-signal processing capabilities. The company also
has fab joint-ventures in both Europe and the United States with Siemens
AG. A deal with AMD (company profile) might give Motorola (company profile) access to embedded flash
memory and networking capabilities.
Working with Motorola could also give AMD access to copper-processing
technology for next-generation semiconductors. While the Motorola
spokesman indicated the agreement will involve chip-processing
technology, AMD already has access to copper-chip technology through a
foundry agreement with IBM Microelectronics. Another
possibility is that AMD will license its money-losing flash and networking
capabilities in exchange for a steady cash revenue stream.
AMD announced last week a nearly $65 million quarterly loss, with almost
all of the shortfall coming from its memory and networking areas.