IBM is looking into the possibility of selling its semiconductor manufacturing operations, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Big Blue has appointed investment bank Goldman Sachs to search for potential buyers, but may also be searching for a partner if whole sale of the semiconductor business is not possible. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is looking to sell off its manufacturing operation but will keep its chip-designing capabilities.

Besides designing chips for use in its own systems, IBM Microelectronics offers foundry and design services, which it uses to manufacture chips for other companies such as Nintendo.

Setting up shop

The New York-based firm lays claim to having some of the most powerful chips in the world, something that helped develop its AI supercomputer Watson. The supercomputer has been developed into a major part of IBM as it looks to become geared around software and services.

IBM has been shipping parts of its business in recent weeks, selling its low-end server wing to Lenovo, as well as searching for buyers for its SDN technology. Shedding the chip division, however, represents a big move from a venture the company has put billions into nurturing.

Potential buyers have been earmarked in the form of manufacturing groups Global Foundries and TSMC.

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