IBM reportedly considers selling its semiconductor manufacturing operations

According to sources familiar with the matter, IBM is pondering a sale of its semiconductor manufacturing facilities and business. The poorly performing unit makes chips for IBM’s own servers, as well as a limited amount of chips for other companies, with the major consumer of the chips is Nintendo in the derided Wii-U console.

International Business Machines Corp. is exploring the sale of its semiconductor manufacturing operations, said a person familiar with the matter. IBM operates factories that make computer chips for its own high-end server systems as well as for external customers. The company is looking for a buyer for its manufacturing operations, but plans to retain its chip-design capability, this person said. Chip manufacturing is a very capital-intensive and volatile business. Shedding those operations could help boost IBM’s profitability, and dovetail with recent moves by the company to reduce its reliance on selling computer hardware.

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