AMD Completes Sea Micro Acquisition in Record Time

AMD Finishes Take Over of Sea Micron in Less Than a Month

by Anton Shilov
03/26/2012 | 11:16 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday said it had completed acquisition of SeaMicro, a low-power server maker, in record time, or less than a month. The pioneer in energy-efficient, high-bandwidth micro-servers cost AMD approximately $334 million, net of cash assumed. AMD believes SeaMicro will help it to boost competitive positions of its servers.

 

The acquisition of SeaMicro, which will now become AMD's data center server solutions business, enables AMD to accelerate its strategy to deliver disruptive server technology and provide its customers serving cloud-centric data centers with highly-differentiated AMD-based solutions beginning this year.

Although AMD remains tight-lipped about exact plans for integration of SeaMicro’s Freedom supercomputer fabric with up to 1.28Tb/s (160GB/s) transfer speed into its own chip designs, it clearly stated that it bought the micro-server company for its intellectual property and technologies, not in order to make servers itself. AMD hopes that the ultra high-speed transfer fabric will allow it to create ultra-dense server platforms for cloud servers and other power consumption-sensitive applications.

"Our unique fabric technology is truly one of the crown jewels of the cloud. The combination of this innovative technology with our processor design expertise greatly enhances our ability to attack the fastest growing portion of the server market with industry-leading low-power, low-cost, high-bandwidth solutions," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD.

AMD has implied that thanks to SeaMicro Freedom fabric it will be able to offer not only ultra-dense cloud servers, but also high-performance computing (HPC) platforms that integrate both graphics processing units (as compute accelerators) and central processing units.

"Integration our strong AMD Opteron roadmap with SeaMicro's technology will provide customers with a range of processor choices and platforms. [...] Our goal is to leverage SeaMicro IP with our Opteron processor to create industry-leading flexible silicon solutions. [...] When we think about SeaMicro acquisition, this is a technology play for us. [...] It is very much possible to [integrate SeaMicro's fabric technology into AMD processors] and when we look at progression of processor technology, [addition of] fabric would be a natural evolution," said Lisa Su, general manager of global business units at AMD.

AMD will continue to sell existing customers SeaMicro SM10000-XE, SM10000-64HD and SM10000-64 servers and will even build similar Opteron based machines. Nonetheless, it is not the company’s intention to develop, build and sell servers under its own brand and thus compete against its own customers.

The purchase price consists of a cash payment of approximately $293 million as well as AMD's assumption of options to purchase approximately 6 475 000 AMD shares and the issuance of approximately 322 thousand shares of AMD restricted stock.  This transaction is included in AMD's first quarter of 2012 earnings guidance.