IBM apparently really, really doesn’t want to be in the commercial silicon business, to the point it’s willing to pay GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion to take its chip-making unit off its hands, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
We’re likely to see confirmation of that deal on Monday as IBM released a statement Sunday afternoon saying it plans to make “a major business announcement” at 7 a.m. EDT, before its Q3 earnings at 7 a.m. EDT.
Big Blue has been trying to shed its chip-fabrication operations for some time in an effort to rid itself of non-profitable business units and[company] GlobalFoundries [/company]has emerged as the leading candidate to take on that business. Price was a sticking point, however.
[company]IBM [/company]has a complicated relationship with the semiconductor business. The company is still very much invested in silicon R&D – in fact, it’s working on a chip that mimics the neural pathways of the human brain – but its commercial chip operations runs a huge loss, as much as $1.5 billion a year, according to some estimates. Separating out and selling off chip fabrication capabilities does not mean that IBM is out of the chip design business.