SAN FRANCISCO—Advanced Micro Devices Inc. will acquire microserver startup SeaMicro Inc. in a deal worth $334 million, under the terms of a definitive agreement between the two companies announced Wednesday (Feb. 29).
AMD (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said the deal would accelerate its strategy to deliver server technology to OEM customers serving cloud-center data centers.
Lisa Su, AMD's senior vice president and general manager of global business units, said the combination of SeaMicro's technology and AMD's silicon would give AMD a unique ability to address the server market in years to come. "SeaMicro's server technology together with AMD's processor technology is a very strong combination," Su said.
AMD said it plans to offer the first SeaMicro servers based on its Opteron processors in the second half of this year. Su said AMD would continue to support the Intel-based servers and their customers. "But we really look to accelerate the use of AMD silicon, and we'll see those products by the end of the year," Su said.
Su said the SeaMicro technology augments AMD's current server technology, which the company plans to continue supporting. "It's very complimentary," Su said.
"The fabric we've designed and the system we've built is today capable of handling any x86 processor, any ARM processor or any other processor for that matter," said Andrew Feldman," SeaMicro's CEO. Feldman will become general manager of AMD's newly created Data Center Server Solutions business.
Mark Papermaster, AMD's senior vice president and chief technology officer, said that AMD was intent on getting more involved in server computing and looked at several possible acquisitions in addition to considering AMD's own internal development capabilities. "When we sat down with SeaMicro, it was clear almost immediately that were was complete alignment between the technology they had and what we wanted to do at AMD," he said.
According to AMD, current servers using SeaMicro technology typically use one quarter the power and take one
sixth the space of traditional servers with the same compute
performance, yet deliver up to 12 times the bandwidth per core. Cloud data centers are projected to be the fastest growing segment of the server market through 2015, according to International Date Corp.
AMD said about $281 million of the $334 million purchase price would be paid in cash. AMD said it would not change its financial guidance for the year as a result of the acquisition.
"By acquiring SeaMicro, we are accelerating AMD’s transformation into an agile, disruptive innovator capable of staking a data center leadership position," said Rory Read, AMD's president and CEO, in a statement.
Good exit for Seamicro. I don't believe they stood a chance as an independent system company. For AMD, being able to integrate the seamicro fabric into their low power parts will give it an edge over Intel in the "Cloud Datacenter" space.
With Intel buying the Infiniband unit of Qlogic it appears that both these CPU vendors are looking at integrating a fabrics into their designs. Changes are afoot! It will interesting to see how this plays out.
This also validates what the ARM server guys like Calxeda/AppliedMicro are trying to do - the future innovations are outside of the CPU now.
Certainly an interesting way in which to increase product sales. That's got to cause some serious issues for sales people who get their checks from one company but are selling product containing chips from their primary competitor.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.