Paul van Gerven
9 October 2020

AMD is in “advanced talks” to buy Xilinx, the world’s biggest FPGA maker, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources who wish not to be identified. The talks are said to have resumed after a recent pause, but a deal worth approximately 30 billion dollars could be announced as early as next week. Neither company has made any public statements about the negotiations.

It wouldn’t be the first time a processor manufacturer acquires an FPGA maker: Intel purchased Altera in 2015 for 16.7 billion dollar (link in Dutch). The current deal is likely similarly motivated: like Intel, AMD wants access to FPGA technology to supplement its offerings in data centers. In that domain, FPGAs are often used to accelerate AI workloads.

AMD headquarters santa clara
Credit: AMD

With that in mind, Nvidia’s intention to acquire Arm may have spurred on AMD. The maker of GPU’s, which are also used to perform AI calculations, has intimated that it wants to leverage Arm’s technology to become the world’s “premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence.”

For a long time, AMD has played second fiddle to Intel in the processor market, but recently it has been gaining considerable ground. According to The WSJ, its stock grew 89 percent this year, creating new opportunities for take-overs.

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