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AMD to buy microserver startup SeaMicro

March 01, 2012 // Dylan McGrath

AMD to buy microserver startup SeaMicro

Advanced Micro Devices will acquire microserver startup SeaMicro in a deal worth $334 million, under the terms of a definitive agreement between the two companies announced Wednesday (February 29).

AMD (Sunnyvale, California) said the deal would accelerate its strategy to deliver server technology to OEM customers serving cloud-center data centers.

SeaMicro, a startup founded in 2007, formerly built only servers with Intel's Atom processors. Last month the company announced a new server based on Intel's Xeon processor.

Lisa Su, AMD's senior vice president and general manager of global business units, said the combination of SeaMicro's technology and AMD's silicon would give AMD a unique ability to address the server market in years to come. "SeaMicro's server technology together with AMD's processor technology is a very strong combination," Su said.

AMD said it plans to offer the first SeaMicro servers based on its Opteron processors in the second half of this year. Su said AMD would continue to support the Intel-based servers and their customers. "But we really look to accelerate the use of AMD silicon, and we'll see those products by the end of the year," Su said.

Su said the SeaMicro technology augments AMD's current server technology, which the company plans to continue supporting. "It's very complimentary," Su said.

"The fabric we've designed and the system we've built is today capable of handling any x86 processor, any ARM processor or any other processor for that matter," said Andrew Feldman," SeaMicro's CEO. Feldman will become general manager of AMD's newly created Data Center Server Solutions business.

According to AMD, current servers using SeaMicro technology typically use one quarter the power and take one sixth the space of traditional servers with the same compute performance, yet deliver up to 12 times the bandwidth per core. Cloud data centers are projected to be the fastest growing segment of the server market through 2015, according to International Date Corp.

AMD said about $281 million of the $334 million purchase price would be paid in cash. AMD said it would not change its financial guidance for the year as a result of the acquisition.

"By acquiring SeaMicro, we are accelerating AMD’s transformation into an agile, disruptive innovator capable of staking a data center leadership position," said Rory Read, AMD's president and CEO, in a statement.

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