[Beowulf] IBM paying GlobalFoundries to take their CPU business

Gerald Henriksen ghenriks at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 20:44:43 PDT 2014

On Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:30:30 +1100, you wrote:

>On 21/10/14 08:11, Douglas Eadline wrote:
>> Which means to me, $1.5bn is far less than they would spend over
>> the next 5-10 years running a FAB. And, I'm sure they
>> get a special parking spot out front for when they need
>> to make wafers. (i.e. there is more to the deal than the $1.5bn dowry)

My guesswork:

The $1.5 billion (which is payable over 3 years) keeps the current fab
running producing the processors IBM needs for the next 3 years while
they redesign their chips to work with a newer fab process.

Running fabs has become a big $ cost business, and more specifically
running a fab capable of producing server (or more generally non-ARM)
class chips.

This gets IBM out of it chicken-egg situation of designing for an
obsolete fab, and running a fab for its designs, without having to put
a lot more money into updating its fab.

In 3 years IBM can then have their designs being manufactured on
modern processes in someone elses fab.

Another guess, someone will specialize in making non-ARM chips and get
the business from Oracle (Sparc), IBM (Power), and AMD (x64) and
perhaps the AMD and NVIDIA GPU business, with the hope that the
production from the 3(5) of them will be viable given their needs are
the most similar.

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