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The motivation for the acquisition is the data center market. Solutions like smartNICs, adaptive SoCs, and programmable logic is quickly becoming all the rage in servers. As AMD makes inroads into the data center thanks to Ryzen (and thanks to Intel tripping over its shoelaces), they're going to leverage their momentum and define new solutions and platforms to cater to the ever-growing appetite for data in our post-connected world.
Those of you in the know should already realize that growth in the data center is no longer defined by Moore's Law. Ever-faster CPUs, growing numbers of cores, growing cache sizes, growing memory, growing I/O interface speeds, all of that just won't be enough. The future lies in new standards for moving data around, and most of the industry, including Microsoft, Amazon (AWS), and even nVidia are working on them.
Will this acquisition be a successful one? Time will tell, of course, but to me, this is a VERY necessary move by AMD to stay relevant in the changing world of data centers. Without it, despite AMD's gains, they would have sputtered out and become a stagnant second-banana in semiconductors once again.