Business Plus

AMD Bringing More Chips To West Dublin


Semiconduc­tor manufactur­er AMD, led by Lisa Su, has been on a tear in recent years, growing revenue from $9.8bn in 2020 to $23.6bn last year. Profit growth hasn’t been as impressive, and operating cashflow of $3.6bn means there is a lot of hope built into the company’s recent market cap of $179bn.

An important part of Su’s growth strategy was the $46bn all-share acquisitio­n of Xilinx, which closed in February 2022. The goodwill element of this deal was $23bn, which shows how keen AMD was to swallow the Xilinx technology.

A decade ago, AMD’s business was largely focused on chips for personal computers. Now the business split is gaming (29%), client computing (26%), data centres (25%) and embedded (20%). The embedded division is where Xilinx strengthen­s AMD’s hand, and relates to processors for cars, wireless equipment, healthcare, aerospace, and general industrial manufactur­ers.

Xilinx was establishe­d in California in 1984 and landed in Ireland in 1994, bringing excellent jobs to Logic Drive at the Citywest Business Campus in west Dublin. In the year to March 2022, the Ireland operating company employed 310 people, of whom 150 were classified as being active in R&D.

Average pay was $125,400 (€113,600), and in addition employees were paid an average of $62,600 (€56,700) in share-based expenses.

The Xilinx share incentive scheme, replicated by the new employer AMD, allows staff to buy shares at 85% of the lower of the fair market value on the first or the last business day in the May to November period. The AMD share is currently around the $110 level and was $90 on May 1. Participat­ion is limited to 15% of annual pay, up to a maximum shares outlay of €19,500 in a calendar year.

In FY22, Xilinx’s employer PRSI cost was €3.4m, not far off the €3.7m grant aid secured from IDA Ireland in 2017. More state aid is on the way to Citywest, which will be recouped many times over from payroll taxes.

AMD recently announced plans to invest $135m (€124m) over four years to fund strategic R&D projects which will add up to 290 engineerin­g and research positions, as well as a broad range of additional support roles.

AMD’s Ruth Cotter commented: “By further investing and expanding our presence in Dublin and Cork, we are committed to continuing to both drive innovation in Ireland and to support the European semiconduc­tor ecosystem.

“Through this investment, our R&D teams in Ireland will design innovative high-performanc­e and adaptive computing engines to accelerate data centre, networking, 6G communicat­ions and embedded solutions while taking a leadership position on artificial intelligen­ce.”

 ?? CHRIS BELLEW/FENNELLS ?? Enterprise minister Simon Coveney (left) with Brendan Farley, AMD’s managing director EMEA
CHRIS BELLEW/FENNELLS Enterprise minister Simon Coveney (left) with Brendan Farley, AMD’s managing director EMEA

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