IBM Ditching Fabs

According to the FT, IBM has asked Goldman Sachs to look at options for its IC manufacturing business which could include both a jv or outright sale.Who could buy it? The only apparent contenders would be Intel, TSMC, GloFo or Samsung.

However, while Intel has cash of $20 billion, it has debt of $13 billion and may not be in a position to acquire it.

TSMC says it doesn’t want to operate foreign fabs.

GloFo’s owners are said to be getting impatient with the company.

So that leaves Samsung which gets its core technology from IBM under the Common Platform Alliance and uses that technology to successfully manufacture in the USA.

The big question now is: what will happen to the Common Platform Alliance?

Other companies which get their core process technology from IBM under the Common Platform Alliance are: GloFo, UMC, ST, Renesas, NEC, Freescale, Toshiba and Infineon.

It is thought that IBM sold about $1.75 billion worth of semiconductors for a loss of $130 million last year and will lose about the same this year on revenues of $1.45 billion.



  1. You’re absolutely right, Any Silicon, I hadn’t thought of TowerJazz. It’s a huge opportunity for them but a huge management task after just absorbing three Panasonic fabs. But if, as you say, they can raise the capital then it’s a great chance to become the world’s No.1 specialist fab

  2. If Apple were serious about having a fab then the IBM ones are not a good place to start from !

  3. I do not believe the candidates you mention will be interested in buying IBM business.

    Can TowerJazz become the “TSMC” of the special process?

    In my view, TowerJazz has a potential to become the largest specialty foundry if they find the capital to acquire IBM.

    Otherwise, it’s an opportunity for an investment by companies with profile similar to ATIC. Or government (China, Brasil) how see semiconductor has a stratigic investment.

  4. If Apple were serious about having Fabs it could be a good oportunity for them.

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