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It is said that AMD plans to buy Xilinx for us $30 billion, and the agreement can be reached as soon as next week

via:雷锋网     time:2020/10/9 17:15:50     readed:649

According to the Wall Street Journal, AMD is in high-level negotiations to acquire FPGA manufacturer Xilinx, with a transaction value of more than $30 billion, which will be the latest major acquisition in the semiconductor industry that is accelerating integration. The two companies are discussing an agreement that could be reached as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the negotiations have been suspended once and the final outcome cannot be predicted.


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Image from AMD

What does the planned acquisition of Xilinx mean?

Xilinx's FPGA chips have been used in telecommunications equipment, and under the leadership of CEO Victor Peng, the company is expanding to products for data centers, which can be used to accelerate workloads such as artificial intelligence.

FPGA (field programmable gate array) is a semiconductor device that can be quickly and dynamically reconfigured. Compared with other types of devices (such as CPU and GPU), FPGA has certain advantages in various workload. Its unique feature is that even if it is installed in the machine, its function can be changed through software.

In addition to AI acceleration, Xilinx's FPGAs are a key component of the new 5g network deployment, although they may eventually be replaced by more standardized chips as the technology matures.

In addition, Xilinx also has a large number of advanced technologies. Its latest 7Nm versal premium adaptive computing acceleration platform (ACPC) series products support pcle 5.0 controller ccix and CXL protocol, equipped with DDR4 controller, 112G pam4 transceiver, 600g Ethernet core up to 5TB / s and 400g encryption engine up to 1.6tb/s.

In 2014, amd rebounded rapidly from the brink of failure. Compared with Intel, amd achieved growth in desktop computer processors and notebook computers, and reversed the fate of the server business. Due to the popularity of covid-19 this year, its share price is up 89%, and there is more demand for its products.

At the same time, Xilinx has not performed as well as other chipmakers this year. Although its share price has risen by 9% in 2020, it has been hit hard by the trade situation between China and the United States. Xilinx currently has a market value of $26 million.

Patrick Moorhead, President and chief analyst of Moore Insights & strategy, said:"Given AMD's valuation, it needs to expand its market opportunities by acquiring Xilinx to gain access to operator infrastructure, automotive and aerospace, and expand its data center business."

Close cooperation between AMD and Xilinx

In fact, amd had a close relationship with Xilinx before it planned to acquire Xilinx.

In November 2017, amd paired its single channel server platform with four Xilinx FPGAs, and the 128 pcies3.0 channels of epyc can be perfectly matched with the platform (FPGA or GPU) with multiple PCIe connected accelerators, which has found an alternative solution to provide rich connectivity for AMD's single channel server.

In October 2018, they jointly developed a high-performance reasoning system for the data center. The system includes a 32 core epyc 7551 CPU and eight alveo u250 accelerator cards provided by Xilinx, which are mainly used for real-time machine learning, video processing and data analysis.

AMD and Xilinx cooperation data center reasoning system, pictures from Xilinx

At that time, the two companies claimed that the system achieved a reasoning throughput of 30000 images per second on Google lenet convolutional neural network, breaking the world record for reasoning performance.

From the perspective of both sides' accelerator, Xilinx can promote the release of AMD's potential. If amd succeeds in acquiring Xilinx, the product fit may be improved.

In recent years, large enterprises hope to expand their product portfolio to enter new markets, and the semiconductor industry has entered a wave of integration.

Last month, NVIDIA said it would pay $40 billion for arm, a UK chip design company, while ADI said in July that it would pay $20 billion for Maxim integrated products.

What can be seen is that the semiconductor industry is accelerating integration. Semiconductor companies in the world have not only focused on one kind of architecture, but also turned to have more complex computer architecture and complete system.

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