The end of an era as Chinese company mulls plans for massive AMD investment

AMD also does graphics cards
AMD also does graphics cards

It looks more and more likely that Intel's once-formidable archrival, AMD, could receive some significant capital from a little known Chinese conglomerate called Loongson Technology.

VRWorld reports that key AMD staff have visited China over the last few weeks and that Loongson will use some of its 120 billion Yuan (about £12.6 billion, $19.2 billion, AU$25 billion) to invest in AMD stopping short of an outright acquisition.

That move would likely send Intel and US regulatory bodies berserk because of the technological implications. AMD is the only company outside Intel to have legal access to the x86 architecture.

As such, it is the only processor maker that can design traditional Windows-compatible CPUs or APUs. However, a takeover of AMD is likely to cause that long-standing agreement to be terminated by Intel.

Loongson shares common roots with Lenovo with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Computing Technology being their shared founders. The former also counts BLX IC Design Corp as the third founder.

Chinese companies like Lenovo have already acquired some of the biggest technology names in the US with the ownership of IBM (x86), Palm and Motorola changing hands in the last decade.

Loongson used MIPS technology to launch its eponymous processor range and its flagship mode, the Loongson 3B currently runs at up to 1.5GHz with eight cores and is manufactured on a 28nm node.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.