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As world goes online in pandemic, another mammoth chip deal

A close-up view of an Intel computer circuit board.
A close-up photo of an Intel computer circuit board displayed in Taipei in 2016. An acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices will better position it to compete against Intel.
(Ritchie B. Tongo / EPA/Shutterstock)

Advanced Micro Devices is buying Xilinx for $35 billion in an all-stock deal that will combine the two Silicon Valley chipmakers and accelerate an already rapid-fire pace of mergers and buyouts in the industry.

The deal announced Tuesday puts AMD in a place it wants to be: competing more fiercely with Intel at a time when a global pandemic is driving demand for tech ever higher.

More Zoom meetings, more orders online, and more upgrades for companies trying to meet new demands of millions staying at home has led to a seemingly insatiable appetite for computer chips.

“Joining together with AMD will help accelerate growth in our data center business and enable us to pursue a broader customer base across more markets,” Xilinx Chief Executive Victor Peng said in a statement Tuesday.

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AMD and Xilinx is a huge tie-up in a season of massive buyouts for the semiconductor industry.

Just last month, Nvidia said it would buy Arm Holdings for as much as $40 billion and set up an artificial intelligence research center in Cambridge, England, where Arm is headquartered.

In July, Maxim Integrated Products was snapped up by Analog Devices for more than $20 billion.

Xilinx stockholders will receive 1.7234 shares of AMD stock for each Xilinx share they hold, or approximately $143 per share of Xilinx stock.

AMD stockholders will own about 74% of the combined company, with Xilinx stockholders owning approximately 26%.

AMD CEO Lisa Su will lead the combined company as CEO. Peng will join AMD as president, responsible for the Xilinx business and strategic growth initiatives. At least two Xilinx directors will join AMD’s board.

The deal is expected to close by the end of next year but still needs approval from regulators and shareholders of both companies.

Shares of Xilinx jumped 8.6% on Tuesday, while AMD’s stock slipped 4.1%.


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