AMD snatches SeaMicro from Intel

AMD has scored a bit of an upset to Chipzilla’s cunning plans for low-powered servers by snatching up a start-up called SeaMicro.

SeaMicro had been a close chum of Intel and the fact that AMD has just bought it for $334 million in cash and stock is a surprise.

The startup has 80 employees and builds dense and power-efficient servers for use in large-scale cloud computing environments.

Under the deal, SeaMicro CEO Andrew Feldman will become general manager of a new division at AMD, the Data Center Server Solutions group. AMD wants to sell SeaMicro-branded servers directly to customers, but it bought the company primarily for its technology, which it hopes to license.

In a press release, AMD said that SeaMicro has a proven technology that has been benchmarked in key customer sites to show improvements in power consumption and total cost of ownership.

It is not clear why Intel, which had built a tight partnership with SeaMicro, did not stop AMD and buy the company itself.

SeaMicro currently sells stuff based on low-power Intel Atom processors, and just a few weeks ago Intel attended a joint press conference where it was telling the world+dog how wonderful SeaMicro is.

AMD will continue to sell SeaMicro servers based on Intel processors “for the foreseeable future,” but these will be replaced with AMD Opteron processors.