Oracle rumoured to be buying AMD -

Ever since Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison, said last month that he might contemplate buying a semiconductor company, we've all wondered just what the man is thinking.

Reuters yesterday speculated that Oracle might buy AMD and it's not as nutty an idea as it might seem. First, Oracle could buy AMD and in doing so would grab quite a chunk of intellectual property.

But if it did so, we wonder how AMD customers - like HP and IBM for example - would feel about buying X86 chips from a company with which they directly compete?

It certainly would be a bold move - and say what you like about Larry Ellison - he's got gumption in bucketloads. AMD isn't a real man any more - it doesn't have fabs, so the deal wouldn't put that particular albatross around Larry's gullet.

In fact, Oracle buying AMD would galvanise the entire industry and throw it into a state of confusion.

The only real man in the X86 semiconductor business is Intel, and we can't imagine those guys would be entranced by the prospect of competing with Oracle.  Oracle has just got so much software and other stuff in its stack - while Intel, for reasons that still puzzle us - has, er, McAfee.

AMD's share price on the NYSE closed at $6.94 last night; Oracle's at $27; and Intel's at $18.92.