Summary:

Chip chatter: Globalfoundries has emerged as the leading candidate to take on IBM’s chip fab business, according to reports.

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photo: DARPA

You really have to wonder what, exactly, IBM will look like in a year. Talk revived this week about the tech giant trying to sell off its chip business, with a new leading candidate, Globalfoundaries, emerging, according to the Wall Street Journal(registration required) and Reuters.

Globalfoundries is the product of a joint venture by AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company. It launched in 2009.

IBM has reportedly also talked to other companies, including Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., about the chip business, but the WSJ reports that price is an issue because IBM wants $2 billion for the business. That may be too steep for prospective buyers.

The venerable tech vendor has been in a selling mood of late — ridding itself of lower-margin businesses to concentrate on cloud computing, software and services. In January it announced plans to sell its X86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion. Lenovo had already purchased IBM’s laptop and PC businesses.

These moves, as well as a rolling set of layoffs now taking place, were spurred partly by IBM’s promise to hit $20 earnings per share (EPS) by 2017. The company’s current EPS for the trailing 12 months is $14.94.

An IBM spokesman would not comment on the reports.

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