Top Local Business Stories of the Week

  • Staff
  • American-Statesman staff
12:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 Business
AMD CEO Lisa Su talks about the company’s Zen line of chips at a launch event in Austin on Dec. 13, 2016.RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

AMD’S BIG MOVE

Longtime rivals AMD, Intel team up against Nvidia: For decades, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices has battled for dominance in the computer chip market against rival Intel Corp.

But last week, the companies announced they were putting their competition aside to work together.

Intel is developing a computer chip for lightweight laptops that combines an Intel processor and an AMD graphics processing unit.

This is the first time the two companies have collaborated on a product, though industry analyst Patrick Moorhead noted that in the late 1980s AMD did some manufacturing work for Intel.

This type of chip will be used in thin, lightweight laptops that are still powerful enough to play video games.

In a written statement, AMD vice president and general manager Scott Herkelman said this partnership offers “gamers and content creators the opportunity to have a thinner-and-lighter PC capable of delivering discrete performance-tier graphics experiences.”

The collaboration means that AMD and Intel will essentially be teaming up to fight Nvidia, which is the current market leader in graphics processors and is a competitive threat to both companies. Intel does not develop graphics processors, specializing instead in computing.

“If it’s successful, it lets Intel see revenue from high-performance graphics that it never could before,” said Moorhead, who used to work for Advanced Micro Devices. “And for AMD, they get to see some revenue.”

This type of product for AMD is called a “semi-custom” chip, and the company typically develops chips, which combine computing and graphics elements, for companies such as Microsoft and Sony for their video game console.

The company said it will book revenue from this new semi-custom chip in its Computing and Graphics division because their piece of it is centered around graphics.

AMD is technically based in California but has a large presence in Austin, where it employs 1,500 people. Austin is also where most of its senior executives are based.

The company is in the midst of a turnaround after a multi-year slump caused by a combination of a declining PC market and technology stumbles that let rivals cement their dominance in the market.

SAILPOINT IPO

Austin’s SailPoint plans to raise $200 million in upcoming IPO: Austin-based software maker SailPoint Technologies is getting closer to an initial public offering of stock, with plans to raise $200 million.

The company last week announced terms for its IPO. It plans to offer 20 million shares (29 percent are insider shares) at a price range of $9 to $11.

At the midpoint of the of the proposed range, SailPoint would command a fully diluted market value of $926 million.

Founded in 2005 by three Austin software veterans with roots going back to Tivoli Systems, SailPoint provides identity and access management software.

The company has more than 750 customers and competes with industry giants including IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Austin hasn’t had a sizable IPO since April 2016, when Aeglea BioTherapeutics Inc. raised $50 million. Aeglea produces engineered human enzymes for treating cancer and rare genetic diseases.

SailPoint reported revenue of $75 million and a $6.6 million loss for the first half of 2017. For all of 2016 the company posted revenue of $132.4 million and a loss of $3.2 million.

The company previously raised $21 million from Austin Ventures, Silverton Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners before agreeing in 2014 to sell a majority ownership stake to Chicago-based investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but a SailPoint spokeswoman at the time said the Thoma Bravo investment was several million dollars.

The company said it would use its IPO proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, capital expenditures and funding the company’s growth.

SailPoint plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SAIL. Underwriters are Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets.

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