It has been suggested for quite some time that Intel could/should take advantage of AMD's struggling situation to make an acquisition, or at least take advantage of licensing some of its technologies. The latter thought has ramped-up again in the rumor mill, and while there's no clear path that Intel might take, it's being said that the Santa Clara company is heavily weighing its options.
A decade ago, it would have been quite a historic event to see Intel work with AMD in any major way, but the landscape has shifted, and with AMD in need of more revenue streams, it now makes more sense perhaps that the companies could work together. Does that mean Intel's looking to craft its own graphics solutions that use AMD IP? It sounds bizarre, but it could happen, even if it's just in the high-end workstation or server space. Intel might not be that interested in acquiring IP for use in its IGP products, but that's just one product silo to consider in the bigger picture.
Intel already throws its support behind AMD's XConnect external GPU product
The key thing to bear in mind here is that this rumor explicitly involves AMD's graphics technologies, not CPU IP. This points to at least a few ideas of what could come of this connection, even if they still sound a little outlandish.
Making this all the more interesting, Intel currently has an IP partnership with NVIDIA, which is set to expire in 2017. That brings significant revenue to NVIDIA year after year, so this proposed AMD deal could definitely affect that as well. In fact, if the Intel/NVIDIA contract isn't renewed, and AMD moves on in, it could benefit AMD regardless, even if it's worth less than what NVIDIA participates in currently.
If you still think it's nutty to picture Intel and AMD working together, picture this: just this past week, we saw Intel throw its weight behind AMD's Xconnect external GPU solution, which utilizes its Thunderbolt 3.0 protocol. It almost seems like Intel is getting a little cozy with AMD, and it can't help but make us wonder if the idea of an all-out acquisition of the Radeon Technology Group could happen. Again, outlandish, but with the industry changing as it is, you learn not to be surprised by much these days.
The future for AMD could be very interesting, and could also potentially include a nice boost to AMD's pocketbook.