Qualcomm nabs AMD's handheld assets

— 11:20 AM on January 20, 2009

In yet another step to divorce itself from its non-core businesses, AMD has announced the sale of assets from its handheld business to Qualcomm.

In the words of the official press release, the deal involves "certain graphics and multimedia technology assets, intellectual property and resources that were formerly the basis of AMD's handheld business." Qualcomm will also get graphics cores it has been licensing for a few years, and it should snatch away a number of former AMD staffers:

Under the terms of the agreement, Qualcomm has extended offers of employment to various design and development teams from AMD's handheld business. The teams are developing technologies to enhance mobile devices in areas including 2D and 3D graphics, audio/video, display, and architecture.

The two firms signed a binding agreement yesterday, and they've already received regulatory approval. AMD should cash in $65 million as part of the deal, although the exact amount may change because of "employee-related expenses and a holdback for certain customary indemnification obligations."

This deal follows the sale of AMD's digital TV business to Broadcom, as part of which the chipmaker received $141.5 million in cash. AMD wants to focus on microprocessors and graphics processors in order to return to profitability.

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