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IBM is considering a sale of its chip business, according to a report in the Financial Times. The article suggested that IBM may also look for a new partner with which it could spin off a joint venture, but either way it’s appointed Goldman Sachs to see if anyone’s interested. IBM’s semiconductor business is very cutting-edge, experimenting with new materials and technologies such as photonics, graphene and carbon nanotubes. Its Power architecture is also used in some IBM servers and supercomputers such as Watson. IBM said last month that it was selling its x86-architecture server business to Lenovo, the same company that took on its PC business in 2004.

  1. I believe this is just for the manufacturing. I doubt they would sell the design/research for the power chips. Basically IBM would be going fabless, just like most of the industry has done already. Seems like a good idea to me as keeping the manufacturing plants up to date costs a fortune. Better to just pay someone else like TSMC to make your chips.

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  2. Shedding manufacturing would make sense. If you cannot fill a FAB, you lose money, lots of money. Selling the manufacturing though could have far reaching implications in some circles if the sale resulted in less than “friendly” hands taking possession of the asset. From a sales perspective that is to the Government in the form of systems or even services served by systems that contain those elements. Either way, the IBM of the past, is gone. This new era of IT is radically different and IBM is at best just a name and shell of its former self. Change does not and has not come fast enough for this giant juggernaut to really save itself.

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