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AMD and Fujitsu Spin Off Static Memory Giant 97

prostoalex writes "AMD and Fujitsu will form a new memory company. While corporations typically form new spinoffs every time you turn around, this one is different, claims ZDNet, since it looks like AMD will be splitting into two companies, one dealing in the microprocessor market, another in memory."
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AMD and Fujitsu Spin Off Static Memory Giant

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  • AMD has had a history of not just working with processors, such as flash memory. It would only seem logical that AMD would expand revenues through market expansion.
  • by Penguuu ( 263703 )
    And another step forward to Microsoft-Amd-Intel-Fujitsu-Hp-Compaq-AOL-Warner-S ony jjoint, which is obviously to come :)
    • And another step forward to Microsoft-Amd-Intel-Fujitsu-Hp-Compaq-AOL-Warner-M a&Pa's_Country_Cookin-S ony jjoint, which is obviously to come :)
  • by The Ancients ( 626689 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @05:14AM (#5651320) Homepage
    Get your 512XP+ DDR DIMM. 384MB chips that are as good as the 512MB piece...
  • by psavo ( 162634 ) <psavo@iki.fi> on Thursday April 03, 2003 @05:17AM (#5651331) Homepage
    AFAIK Flash-AMD subsidizes currently a lot of AMD's processor business, so current part of AMD that makes Processors seems to be confident in it's future to take this step.
    And remember that AMD is much-much more than Athlon/Hammer, they make lot's of different processors.
    • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @08:13AM (#5651845)
      This is an optimistic interpretation of what's going on. The pessimistic interpretation is that they expect their processor unit to tank totally, and they don't want it to take down their flash memory works, so they're splitting it off. It's like the Enterprise-D separating the saucer section when the warp core in engineering is about to breech.
      • It's like the Enterprise-D separating the saucer section when the warp core in engineering is about to breech.

        Sometimes it's nice to be reassured that I'm reading Slashdot. Can anybody think of geekier analogy?
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    AMD is a big player in the CPU market, but there are a lot of companies doing memory chips, isn't there? So, why on earth are they doing it? I hope it's viable for them , because they can lose a lot of money if they're not careful.
    iMHO.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

      by psavo ( 162634 )
      AMD is much bigger player in Flash than in CPU -business.
    • AMD is a big player in the CPU market, but there are a lot of companies doing memory chips, isn't there?

      Interestingly, Intel used to have most of its business in memory, but had to make an abrupt switch to processors when it were undercut by memory producers in Japan. Andy Grove writes about this in his book Only the Paranoid Survive [amazon.co.uk].
    • I can't figure out where the benefit is for them, unless AMD's processor divison is expected to lose money (spinoffs are great for this -- you can saddle them with debts from the other company. Coca-Cola used to regularly do this.)
  • Motivation (Score:5, Informative)

    by nath_o_brien ( 608347 ) <nath@nathans-domain-name.org.uk> on Thursday April 03, 2003 @05:23AM (#5651354) Homepage

    There are more indepth articles about this here [iht.com] and here [internet.com]. The latter article discussed the motivation for the move in a little more depth:
    "This is only going to help AMD and Fujitsu become as stronger competitor and move up in market position," said Krewell. "They are in better shape to challenge Intel because they appear as one stronger brand, rather than as two lesser brands."

  • Or... (Score:2, Funny)

    by aiyo ( 653781 )
    ..they can just manufacture space heaters. I mean, the infasructure is already there so it comes naturally.
    • ..they can just manufacture space heaters...

      Er... you mean... they dont already?

      I thought thats what I had, it does heat the room pretty well...

    • Re:Or... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dun Malg ( 230075 )
      they can just manufacture space heaters. I mean, the infasructure is already there so it comes naturally.

      Slashdot Karma Whore Business Plan:

      1) say something about [hot AMD CPUs/how Microsoft sucks/Linux is best for task X]
      2) ?????
      3) Karma Profit!!!

      Didja know the latest Pentium4's put out more heat than the Athlon XP?

    • I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but this is utter bullocks. Checking MBM5 on my Athlon 2100+ server it is currently running at 95 degrees F in an ambiant environment of 72 degrees, not hot at all. At full load it will shoot up to the space heater temperature of 115 degrees =) This is using the retail heat sink and fan btw.
  • The Press Release (Score:5, Informative)

    by Culturejammer ( 541174 ) <landeyda&gmail,com> on Thursday April 03, 2003 @05:24AM (#5651359)
    Press Release [fujitsu.com]

    And what I feel is a better article [internetnews.com].

  • Straying slightly off the beaten path does anyone know if they have any plans of how big they can make CF cards? I know there is a the IBM Microdrive which is upto 1GB but I would think the CF would be cheaper looking at the current prices of 512Mb pieces

    Rus
    • The problem with current CF-technology is that it is limited in the number of programming cycles (ie: writes) before it breaks.
      Although there are filesystems available for embedded systems that distribute writes to flash as much as possible, flash drives will wear out a lot faster than their microdrive counterparts in write-intensive applications.

    • CF is not really equal to flash, it's a special format created by Sandisk that emulates ATA disks.

      Pretec has announced a CF-card with 6 GB of flash at Cebit (lowering the price of the 3 GB ones)

      Since the ATA protocol needs some interface circuits it can probably be adapted to larger sizes and if size is the only thing that matters you can always try to connect a normal harddrive with an adapter.
    • A 1GB solid-state CF card has been out in years already. Last thing i heard IIRC was a planned 4GB or something like that.
  • Splitting? Hah! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dcmeserve ( 615081 )
    ...since it looks like AMD will be splitting into two companies, one dealing in the microprocessor market, another in memory."

    The Flash business is the (relative) cash cow that's keeping the rest of the company afloat. No way it's going to split.

    That's a neat trick -- include an outrageous-but-believeable-to-newbies statment in your story submission, get it posted! I'll have to try that.

    • The Flash business is the (relative) cash cow that's keeping the rest of the company afloat. No way it's going to split.

      No, they split the CPU divison away, assign it all the debts, and let it die, which gives the more lucrative flash division a big jump on the books.

      Coca Cola used to do this with spinoffs.

  • Great! (Score:1, Funny)

    by stephenry ( 648792 )
    Great! Now i can get dirt cheap memory, that requires 70W of power and 20 heatsinks!
    • Re:Great! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Beetjebrak ( 545819 )
      If you're referring to the heat generated by Athlons.. Intel overtook AMD recently and the P4 now radiates more heat, it just dissipates it better.
  • Not Static Memory (Score:4, Informative)

    by warmcat ( 3545 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @06:31AM (#5651469)
    AMD make flash. Nowhere in the article does it talk about Static RAM.

    When talk exceeds the bounds of the talker's knowledge, there ought to be a segfault :-)
  • Siemens / Infinion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How wonder what relationship this has with Siemens/Infinion. Siemens cooperates with Fujitsu and is very successful in the German market. And Infinion is a Siemens-spin-off that produces memory as well...
  • Hey, will they be the leaders in the future of Flash [slashdot.org]?

    The new company, which will include all of both companies' flash memory operations, will be headed by Bertrand Cambou, who was recently promoted to senior vice president at AMD, the newspaper said, adding that the company would have one combined sales force.

    Hey just think, if they got Sony in there memory sticks would be everywhere!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    AMD's Flash business has always contributed to the bottom line enough to help cover losses during R&D years like this one and last year. With them seperated, the Fujitsu/AMD combination will be able to loan the money to the AMD processor company and list it different on the Balance sheet. This will help them both in the accounting since it will be accounts receivable instead of just play lack of revenues overall.

    This is a good move for AMD. I am really excited to see the future of AMD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Fujitsu and AMD had previously been working together ina joint venture as FASL (Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor Limited) at a plant in japan with a combined workforce (though mostly japanese). They recently finished a new fab in the same town and FASL had already been doing contract work for Siemens. Since FASL had been such a success, I guess they decided it would be a good idea to spin off their remaining assests in flash memory and model it on FASL as a single flash juggernaut.
  • I wonder what they will do for the AMD shares. (I don't care about Fujitsu : I don't have any ;) )
  • Bad News for Athlon? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by west ( 39918 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @07:42AM (#5651696)
    Once the division is complete, the blood bath that is their processor division will become even more evident. How long before the shareholders demand that AMD leave a business that is throwing away their money (and always will) and concentrate on a business that actually makes money.

    While the processor industry will be poorer for it, there's no reason why the shareholders should have to foot the bill just so we have competition that lowers Intel's prices and makes their processors faster.
    • Opteron is less than 3 weeks away. 'Nuff said.
      • And presumably AMD officials feel that Opteron will not do well from a market standpoint. You want to do something like this when your stock is as high as possible, and since the market will have anticipated profit from the release, now is the best time to do somethin like this.

        I'm a bit more pessimistic about AMD's CPU division's chances.
    • by Natalie's Hot Grits ( 241348 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @12:17PM (#5653546) Homepage
      "How long before the shareholders demand that AMD leave a business that is throwing away their money (and always will) and concentrate on a business that actually makes money."

      Shareholders invested in a microprocessor company that makes chips that compete with Intel Corp.'s chips. If they do not intend to sell microprocessors, they should not purchase stock in AMD.

      I'm sorry, but if you own shares, you already agreed to foot the bill. If you don't like how they are running the show with your invested money, SELL YOUR FUCKING SHARES. So typical of shareholders nowadays to think that the board of a company owes you personally something because you bought 3rd hand stock equivilent to like .01% of their initial public funding. Unless you got in on the IPO, you are a liability to the company, not an investor.

      The stock market is a gamble. If you lose your money, Tuff shit. It's not the board's job to make sure every .01% owner of their company that doesn't even have fucking voting rights is 100% satisfied with their decision. Let me clue you in on something... That is the LAST thing on their minds.

      If you dont like the way they run shit, GO START YOUR OWN COMPANY AND RUN IT HOW YOU WANT IT. And stop bitching to slashdot that you are unhappy with the way the REAL owners that have REAL stakes in the company are running it. It's people like you that royally fuck up the way the stock market is run.
      [/rant]
      • So typical of shareholders nowadays to think that the board of a company owes you personally something because you bought 3rd hand stock equivilent to like .01% of their initial public funding. Unless you got in on the IPO, you are a liability to the company, not an investor.

        Umm...no. The company *does* owe you, personally, the value of your stock. Sorry, but that's just how capitalism works.
        • The company *does* owe you, personally, the value of your stock.

          ONLY if you were in on the initial IPO. As the original poster stated, the company shouldn't have to care less about making sure you get a positive return on stock that you paid $100/share on because it's "the hot thing on the market" if you didn't buy it from them directly. People seem to forget that the entire purpose of a company selling stock is to raise capital. Their obligation back to the shareholder is to pay them back part of the p

          • You obviously don't know the first thing about corporations. The initial IPO doesn't mean jack... Noone buys the stock "originally". That is done by an investment banker -- usually a firm that has set up the value of the company and takes a cut of the price before they RESELL it to investors. There is no human being on the planet that has stock that came directly from a company -- that would be illegal. The company gets its original funding from the investment banker -- period. After that, the stoc
            • Firstly, a business major does not a stock market expert make. Being a business major, you are inhearantly republican economics biased just because that is where all the republicans are. And your post has shown that your understanding of the stock market is from that perspective.

              Secondly, Since joe stock owner doesn't own, or come close to owning, 51% of the stock, and the board members and officers do (in the real world), Your whole point about voting is mute (except in certain circumstances of companies
              • Firstly, a business major does not a stock market expert make. Being a business major, you are inhearantly republican economics biased just because that is where all the republicans are. And your post has shown that your understanding of the stock market is from that perspective.

                Firstly, the argument on politics is irrelevant as there are democrats and republicans in all my classes. Don't make yourself look even more stupid by denying basic economics and finance. Also, noone is an "expert" on the market

                • "Firstly, the argument on politics is irrelevant as there are [some]democrats and [many]republicans in all my classes. Don't make yourself look even more stupid by denying basic economics and finance. Also, noone is an "expert" on the market. There are simply those of us who are more informed than others. And the parent poster was clearly an uninformed flamer. "

                  This is an argument about politics, read further to see why...

                  "I follow your reasoning, but it's really not relevant"

                  Ahh, but it is relevant to a
                  • Dude, I agree with you. That's why I didn't reply to the parent post (yours), but the know-it-all who had the technical aspect wrong.

                    I agree that long-term growth is much more important than short-term profits and hyping stocks to overvalue them temporarily, then selling them off for a profit.

                    I also agree that ethics are a big problem today in management. Most of these corporate scandals are from hotshot execs that thought they could hide from fiscal reality forever (or at least until they retired

          • You're confusing bonds and stocks.

            Bonds are loans with an obligation to pay back money.

            Stocks are a certificate of ownership.
            • Thought this was funny, both coming from you I might add:

              "Umm...no. The company *does* owe you, personally, the value of your stock. Sorry, but that's just how capitalism works."

              then later on, you try to correct someone else's statement, and then put your foot in your mouth:

              "You're confusing bonds and stocks.

              Bonds are loans with an obligation to pay back money.

              Stocks are a certificate of ownership."

              So which is it? are they obligated to pay you the value of the stock? Or not? You offer 2 conflicting vi
        • The company owes you nothing; they have no requirement to pay you the value of your stock. In fact, the value of your stock is based solely on what other people are willing to buy it for because they *want* part of the company.
  • by lingqi ( 577227 ) on Thursday April 03, 2003 @07:46AM (#5651725) Journal
    Well, I don't think AMD never had any experience with DRAM, and Fujitsu, though has, was never a big player (big ones are Micron, Samsung, and Infinion, Hynix is dying so they don't count anymore). (Slightly off-topic - in term of SRAM, SONY is a huge player - who would have thought they were a big semiconductor company as well as consumer electronics?)

    Same time - few realize the tanglement between AMD and Fujitsu. They have been doing ventures together for a long time now - a few years back they put together a joint plant - it wasn't a great success as I remembered it, though

    Did y'all know Fujitsu is *the* largest computer / IT stuff manufacture in Japan?

    Lastly, AMD flash is going toward Mirror bit, while Intel is going toward multi-level storage. Honestly, intel version has more expandability (to a point - storing 1024 levels per cell is just impossible) - so we will see how that works out.

    Just random stuff I had in mind when I read the article - thought people might find them useless but nontheless mildly interesting.

    I personally wish them well, but I do wonder what would happen if they go into DRAM. They would either get slaughtered (lack of experience), or some DRAM manufactures would just go off and die (even more, for Hynix, or severely cripple, like NEC, Mitsubishi, etc who are small players in the DRAM area). DRAM market simply won't hold this many people (already seen so many consolidations as of the past).
    • Not quite... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dielectric ( 266217 )
      There are some points to clear up here.

      Yes, AMD and Fujitsu have been in cahoots for a long time, but it was a really great venture rather than the poor one you hint at. They created FASL (Fujitsu-AMD Semiconductor Limited) which ships the lion's share of the world's flash. Several more fabs have been started as part of the FASL venture. Iw was, and is, a great success.

      Intel has been in multi-level cells, but the practical limit on it is the four-level cell they have now. They have just recently gotte
    • a few years back they put together a joint plant

      I wish more companies would do that.

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