Intel, Samsung Rumoured to Be on Acquisition Trail

At the end of last week, there were murmurings that both Intel and Samsung were mulling options for acquiring rival chip firms, with Intel linked to Altera and Samsung linked with AMD. Both Intel and Samsung are believed to be looking to diversify their customer base and improve competitiveness.

Intel is reported to be in the early stage of talks with Altera, which sources claim would be one of the company’s biggest ever deals. Altera produces field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) which can be adjusted or upgraded after a product is shipped. While these types of chip generally have less power than application-specific chips, they are popular in automobiles, consumer devices and aerospace products. Intel introduced its own hybrid FPGA-applications specific chip last year.

In March Intel Intel cut its Q1 turnover forecast by almost $1 billion to $12.8 billion, because of weaker than expected demand for business desktop PCs and lower than expected inventory levels across the PC supply chain (Intel Cuts Revenue Forecast).

Meanwhile Samsung is rumoured to be considering acquiring struggling AMD, though there appears to be less substance to these rumours. AMD’s net loss for last year widened to $403 million from $83 million in 2013 and the company has posted net losses for its last three fiscal quarters. A tie-up between the two firms would give Samsung access to AMD’s CPU and GPU IP, which would strengthen the Korean firm against competition from Intel, and Samsung would also gain access to one of only two companies licensed to produce x86 processors, opening up possibilities for Samsung to produce a range of processors for desktops, laptops and tablets.

There has been no comment from any of the companies involved in the rumours.