AMD sells PLD arm to Lattice

AMD sells PLD arm to Lattice
Richard Ball AMD has sold its programmable logic division Vantis to Lattice Semiconductor for $500m in cash. The combined company will have revenues of $400m, making it the third largest player in the programmable logic market. The sale “allows AMD to focus its investment and resources on its core businesses”, said Rich Previte, AMD’s president. The firm will use the money to fund development and manufacturing of its remaining semiconductor products, such as K6 microprocessors. With the acquisition of Vantis, Lattice gets its hands on SRAM-based field programmable gate array technology. Vantis launched its VF1 family using a 0.25?m process just over a year ago. However, both firms’ main business is in the complex programmable logic device (CPLD) sector. Lattice will now inherit an AMD CPLD family and will need to support two sets of devices. One industry observer said that customers may choose another CPLD supplier such as Altera or Xilinx to avoid designing in products whose future may be uncertain. AMD has come under increasing pressure recently. Its major K6 microprocessor line has suffered yield problems in the fabs and a drop in average selling price to $78 per device. Vantis, with sales last year of $205m, represents just eight per cent of AMD’s total revenues, making it a prime candidate for sale. Two years ago, in 1996, Vantis was bringing in $248m and made up 15 per cent of AMD.


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