Print 28 comment(s) - last by carl0ski.. on May 11 at 6:26 AM

AMD undergoes yet another major change

In its latest effort to better compete with Intel, AMD has combined its microprocessor and graphics chips business units into a single department, a long overdue move that could have been done on numerous other occasions.

AMD purchased ATI three years ago, with analysts curious to see if AMD would be able to benefit by competing with Intel and NVIDIA.  AMD graphics chip executive Rick Bergman will be responsible for controlling the sector in the future.

Bergman has been the executive in the Graphics Products Group, with AMD executive Randy Allen leading the Computing Solutions Group.  Allen was granted the job after the last major AMD reshuffling that took place around 12 months ago.

"We are tightening our focus on delivering the winning products and platforms our customers want based on AMD's industry-leading microprocessor and graphics technologies," AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in a statement.  "The next generation of innovation in the computing industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics technologies.  With these changes, we are putting the right organization in place to help enable the future of computing."

Almost three years after the initial deal, most analysts now say AMD should have rolled the CPU and GPU businesses into one single organization immediately after the buyout.  It should be interesting to see if this move is too little, too late, as the company continues to struggle against Intel and NVIDIA.

AMD has undergone several different executive shakeups stemming from the Barcelona chip launch disaster in 2007, which gave Intel even stronger control of the market. Former company CEO Hector Ruiz was replaced in the most drastic AMD shakeup that took place last year.

As AMD prepares for the future, the company applauded Microsoft Windows 7, with company representatives saying they're looking forward to the consumer launch of the OS later this year.  In March, AMD launched the Windows 7 unified graphics drivers bundled with ATI Catalyst 9.4, and will continue to work to ensure its hardware works well with Windows 7.

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<no subject>
By Scabies on 5/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: <no subject>
By CyborgTMT on 5/7/2009 8:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Year and month of release. AMD releases driver updates monthly so 9.4 is April 2009.

RE: <no subject>
By Scabies on 5/7/2009 8:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
I was hoping the crickets would speak for themselves. My point was, what is 9.4 doing in March?

RE: <no subject>
By StevoLincolnite on 5/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: <no subject>
By codemonkey on 5/7/2009 11:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
January, February, March.

I still don't get it.

RE: <no subject>
By mmpalmeira on 5/7/2009 11:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
The second number doesn't need to be thought as the month of release. Think of it just like the version of the driver's release that year and you will be all right. At least thats how I think.

RE: <no subject>
By carl0ski on 5/11/2009 6:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
Think of it this way
Windows 2000 wasnt released in 2000
Windows 98 wasnt released in 1998

RE: <no subject>
By caqde on 5/8/2009 1:01:21 AM , Rating: 4
There was an article about this a while ago(year(s)) on one of the tech sites I visit. The first number is the year of the release, the second number deals with which release for that year.

Say AMD/ATI release 20 Catalyst drivers in a given year so we have 9.1-9.20 for drivers that year, 9.4 would be the 4th release. Although it is known that AMD/ATI pushes for 12-13 releases per year so most of the time 9.1 = Jan 9.2 = Feb etc. This release is different from the norm, but doesn't go against their numbering system.

RE: <no subject>
By greylica on 5/8/2009 10:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
Next step:

Use strange nomenclatures following Ubuntu Guide.

New Catalyst driver released:
9.10 - straundehaufer xuxuvitz

By kontorotsui on 5/7/2009 2:13:38 PM , Rating: 1
I'm glad AMD applaudes to windows 7, now I wish they care to be applauded by the linux community by making better video driver for ATI products.
They don't need to invest billions on that. NVidia does that, AMD better start closing the gap.

RE: Applaud
By Hyperion1400 on 5/7/2009 11:58:37 PM , Rating: 1
Do we need to go over the pie chart again?

RE: Applaud
By Amiga500 on 5/8/2009 3:28:33 AM , Rating: 4
Erm... didn't ATI make their whole literature available to the open source people to make their own drivers?

RE: Applaud
By Jucken on 5/8/2009 10:55:33 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, they did, but that guy clearly is not one of the "open source people", since he's asking for proprietary (closed source) drivers.

RE: Applaud
By ipay on 5/9/2009 9:49:35 AM , Rating: 3
ATI offered working closed-source drivers to the Linux community and were effectively told to F-off. So they offered the source instead, and of course none of the open-source zealots whining about closed-source did anything useful with it. Hence the incentive for ATI to offer any form of driver support for Linux is effectively zero at this point.

RE: Applaud
By Jucken on 5/9/09, Rating: 0
Always a mystery to me...
By GodisanAtheist on 5/7/2009 1:51:50 PM , Rating: 3
... why AMD refused to roll ATI into their main division. Imagine what two very inventive batches of engineers (they have to be, being the underdogs in their respective markets) could have done for each other if they had worked together.

Would we have crossfire/x2 cards connected Via hypertransport with a shared instead of redundant memory pool? Could AMD have squeezed more performance out of their unified platforms?

OTOH, I've always wondered if ATI's apparent lack of interest in competing with Nvidia on the GPGPU computing front is derived from a conflict of interest with their parent company, whose bread and butter is producing products that GPGPU computing directly competes against.

RE: Always a mystery to me...
By Clauzii on 5/7/2009 6:48:06 PM , Rating: 4
Starting up as two seperates gave AMD the opportunity to not go down, if the ATI side of their business failed. Now that BOTH divisions are getting good technoligy going, the time for the actual fusion makes much more sense.

Since the burden of investing in new production technology is moved to Global Foundries, it should be easier for the company as a whole to survive. Given that Global Foundries don't mess up, of course.

By chucky2 on 5/7/2009 1:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
I sure hope so...been waiting on that one for a while now...


By Bateluer on 5/7/2009 2:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not scheduled to rebuild my main desktop until 1Q10, so they can take their time to do it right, so long as it doesn't slip past 2Q10.

We've had 790FX chipsets with SB750 SBs for a while now. Time for a new flagship with new advanced features.

By Doormat on 5/7/2009 2:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
I just want SATA 6Gb/s support! An SSD with 500MB/s r/w speeds? Yes please!

Well This Sucks
By ViRGE on 5/7/2009 1:01:44 PM , Rating: 3
The one disappointment from this is that it means AMD will no longer be keeping separate books on the GPU and CPU businesses. Unless they decide to break them out as separate items on the quarterly reports (which would be a bit unusual for AMD), there's not going to be any way to tell the two apart.

Currently it's a great way to see how the GPU business is doing in particular. You'd never know it was turning a profit if it wasn't its own item. Buried in the CPU business, it'll just look like another loss.

RE: Well This Sucks
By yomamafor1 on 5/7/2009 1:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Its actually better for AMD to combine CPU and GPU businesses together. One of the reason Intel can dominate the market is because it is capable of releasing high performance computing platforms at relatively low cost - something both AMD and Nvidia was not able to do. However since AMD now has a platform capable of fighting against Intel, they need to focus on reducing the cost, and increasing their brand exposure.

"just putting fresh blood up front"
By crystal clear on 5/7/2009 8:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
The company also announced that Randy Allen, who was in charge of the pivotal business of producing chips for servers and workstation PCs, has left the company.

The company also announced an Advanced Technology group focused on developing future technology, a marketing group, and a customer group responsible for expanding AMD's customer relationships globally, as part of its new organizational structure.

By crystal clear on 5/7/2009 9:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
A products group led by Rick Bergman, 45:
This new group is responsible for delivering all of AMD’s platforms and products and aligning the graphics and microprocessor product development groups into a single unified organization. Jeff VerHeul, 50, will head the Processor Solutions Engineering team, to deliver AMD’s platform silicon and improve time-to-market and innovation for near-term roadmaps.

An Advanced Technology Group, led by Chekib Akrout, 51: This new group will focus on developing AMD’s future technology innovation.

A marketing group, led by Nigel Dessau, 44:
The singular marketing group will drive cohesive and consistent external messaging across all of AMD’s products and platforms.

A customer group, led by Emilio Ghilardi, 51:
The sales organization is responsible for expanding AMD’s customer relationships globally.

This is good
By EasyC on 5/8/2009 12:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
I've always been a fan of ATI's leadership in the graphics market. I hope this will bring the same "mojo" over to the AMD CPU market so I can go back to being an AMD customer.

RE: This is good
By ipay on 5/9/2009 9:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked,

- having a smaller market share than your competitor
- selling your equivalently-performing products for less than your competitor's
- producing products that are generally on par or slightly slower than your competitor's, and rarely faster

does not make you a "market leader". And let's not even talk about the HD 2900 series.

I'm not denying that ATI is innovative, and I really hope that Fusion is all it's cracked up to be, but please take off the rose-tinted spectacles.

Coupling the graphics and CPU
By Orac4prez on 5/8/2009 3:06:04 AM , Rating: 3
I am hoping they can integrate the CPU and GPU into one unit. nVidia have their CUDA Graphics cards which I have used in "accelerated" quantum mechanical calculations. It is not perfect for highly accurate floating point calcs, which is where ATI may be able to deliver a great advantage. If they can achieve something with say 6-8 cores, with 3-4 of them GPU's you would have something that would indeed be unique being great for a gamer and someone who wants massive parallel processing. I am sure that many repetitive processes now on a CPU could be dumped onto the CPU, allowing for big improvements in computational power. The hyper-transport would be of great use hopefully reducing latency in the system and giving AMD a great niche. I hope they can pull off something great for the whole industry and give Intel and nudge again!

Makes sence:
By Clauzii on 5/7/2009 6:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
"The next generation of innovation in the computing industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics technologies . With these changes, we are putting the right organization in place to help enable the future of computing."

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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