AMD announces agreement to buy out chipmaker Xilinx for US$35 billion, just a month after NVIDIA's ARM acquisition
AMD recently announced a US$ 30 billion acquisition of rival chipmaker Xilinx. The Xilinx deal is expected to give AMD an edge, in terms of engineering resources, and to open up new lines of business in areas like FPGA chips.
Xilinx is the world's largest manufacturer of FPGA (field-programmable gate array). FPGAs are chips that can be reprogrammed at the chip level they're manufactured, making them useful in a number of situations. The military and aerospace industries make extensive use of FPGA hardware. Fabless manufacturers (like AMD and Intel) also rely on FPGAs when prototyping CPU designs: the design prototypes can be built with FPGA and then reprogrammed at the chip level to iterate and address design flaws.
Programmable FPGA arrays are also key to developing broad-based, reliable 5G network infrastructure, another area of opportunity for AMD.
Who does this acquisition affect? AMD's Xilinx move matters more to Intel than to NVIDIA. Intel themselves purchased Altera a while ago. Altera was Xilinx's biggest competitor in the FPGA space. Now it looks like the competition will be between AMD and Intel, with AMD better positioned right now.