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The $35B AMD-Xilinx Acquisition: 7 Big Things To Know

AMD gets a mega chip deal of its own, which could mean greater competition with Intel on 5G network infrastructure and with Nvidia on SmartNICs. CRN dives into the details of the Xilinx deal and what it could mean for the data center and telecom markets, among other things.

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The Deal Means Intel Will Face Fiercer Competition In 5G

While Intel has given up on its ambition to sell 5G modems for smartphones, the semiconductor giant is going all in on 5G network infrastructure, and it will likely face greater competition from AMD in this area if the acquisition of Xilinx goes through.

AMD has already made some progress in the 5G network space. Last fall, the company touted the high performance its second-generation EPYC processors can provide 5G networks and said that Nokia had tested the processors for delivering broadband, IoT and machine-type communications services over 5G.

But with the Xilinx acquisition, AMD will gain a greater assortment of technologies to compete for 5G network infrastructure deals, and the company believes that will help it sell more EPYC processors into the telecom industry overall.

“In telecom for instance, where Xilinx has solutions capabilities and relationships with industry leaders including Samsung and Ericsson, we will now have an accelerated path to market to better address the largely untapped $5 billion market opportunity for our EPYC processors,” AMD CEO Lisa Su said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call Tuesday.

In Xilinx’s most recent earnings call, Xilinx CEO Victor Peng said the company’s RF system-on-chip products stand to benefit from expanding 5G footprints across multiple geographies. The company’s most recent product in that area is the Zynq RFSoC DFE, which was announced Tuesday and is designed to provide high performance, low-power solutions for massive 5G radio deployments.

Peng also cited “great progress in the OpenRAN space,” where the company is working with “key stakeholders to drive O-RAN initiatives to ensure 5G and future networks be openly developed.”

One of Xilinx’s latest products targeting O-RAN initiatives is the T1 Telco Accelerator Card, which was announced in September and is designed for O-RAN distributed units and virtual baseband units in 5G networks. On the recent earnings call, Peng said customer interest has been “solid” for the product, which has received positive feedback from Nokia and 5G network software provider Mavenir.

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