AMD forces Global Foundries to commit to 32nm wafers

Fab-free firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has decided to “redefine” its relationship with GlobalFoundries (GloFo) so that everyone completely understands how transparent the relationship is. The relationship is, as the world+dog knows, as clear as mud.

In a statement, AMD said it had “amended” – read change – its relationship with GloFo on pricing for wafers delivered this year for CPUs and for graphics processing units (GPUs) and for chipsets, too. That could spell a design lose for Taiwanese foundry giant TSMC, TechEye understands.

GloFo has pledged, said AMD, to provide it with a “fixed number” of 45 nanometre and 32 nanometre wafers every quarter during this year.  AMD said, as if to warn GloFo – it wants “good die”.

AMD will gain a  cool half a billion US greenbacks if GloFo squares up to the commitment, a mysterious statement.  In signs of a rift between the two companies, AMD said it will only pay GloFo during 2012 if the megafoundry meets unnamed “specified conditions” related to 32 nanometre capacity beginning in 2012.

AMD will pay GloFo between $1.1 billion and $1.5 billion this year, and could pay nearly $2 billion next year.

AMD will make half a billion out of this rather odd SEC related transaction, although the deal is far from transparent.

GloFo made no comments at press time.  AMD is a public company so will report to Wall Street tomorrow. GloFo is a private company.

Informed sources told TechEye  that AMD gets better pricing at the 32 nanometre level based on yields, which are looking pretty good. It is a return to an old pricing model.  GloFo will win business from TSMC on this basis on fabbing up the graphics stuff.

No one knows what is in the heart of an accountant.  The gain for AMD is in “write offf” territory, another source at Sunnyvale said.  ♣