Timing rumors surface for AMD plant spin-off

Rumors persist that Advanced Micro Devices is planning to spin off all or part of its manufacturing operations.

Advanced Micro Devices chip plant spin-off rumors won't die. Probably because they may be partially--or more than partially--true.

AMD Dresden facility to be spun off?
AMD Dresden facility to be spun off? AMD

But the timing is the big unknown. AMD claims the launch of its so-called Asset Smart strategy is not imminent.

The latest rumor was triggered by a blog at the Austin American Statesman that said AMD may "spin-off of its manufacturing operations within two weeks." The blog cites a Wall Street securities analyst, John Lau with Jefferies & Co.

AMD said that's not so. "We hope to get it done by the end of the year. There's been no change on our end," said Drew Prairie, an AMD spokesman.

"I wouldn't expect an urgent phone call from me in the next two weeks," he said, implying that the timing would not be in this time frame.

AMD has two chip factories in Dresden, Germany, that are at the center of the spin-off speculation.

Prairie also cautioned that speculation about the structuring of the spin-off may not be accurate. "I wouldn't take that assumption from (analysts) as definitive. There's a lot of nuances and gray areas, as to what we're going to be doing. A lot the speculation is painting things as black and white. I don't think, come announcement day, it will be that black and white."

He also reiterated that the proposed chip plant in upstate New York "would be a critical part of our manufacturing."

Analysts have also speculated that AMD may receive funding along the lines of the $622 million investment AMD received from Mubadala Development Co., the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government.

IBM may play a small role in the Asset Smart strategy also. Currently, AMD and IBM do joint research and development on next-generation chip technology in a location close to the proposed AMD chip facility in Malta, N.Y.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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