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Or so they say...

Well, we’ve heard rumor after rumor that Dell would eventually consider using AMD processors. Everyone dismissed the rumors and said that the analysts were blowing smoke. Eventually, Dell caved and announced that it would use Opteron processors in some of its server systems. Well, everyone loves a good rumor and this one is a whopper. Forbes is confidently reporting that AMD may be in talks to buy ATI Technologies, claiming that an "AMD-ATI Merger Looks Likely."

ATI employees have been talking and analysts are buzzing about the possibility of an AMD-ATI merger. "The synergies of this seem consistent with the recent announcements by AMD to significantly increase capacity over the next few-years. We believe ATI is a rare-buy in the semiconductor space right now given the near-term tie-up dynamics," said analyst Apjit Walia.

AMD and ATI are already closely linked together as ATI provides integrated chipsets for AMD desktop and notebook chip offerings. ATI's recently announced Radeon Xpress 1100 and 1150 chipsets provide DX9-level integrated graphics capabilities for AMD's new AM2 processors. And chances are if you purchase an AMD based notebook, you’re going to find an integrated ATI chipset under the keyboard. But while ATI has the upper hand in the mobile sector with AMD systems, NVIDIA clearly is the leader on the desktop side of things. It remains to be seen what an AMD-ATI merger would do for the desktop market.

But does a merger between AMD and ATI really make sense at this point in time?  Forbes reports:

Walia based his prediction on recent checks in the PC food chain. RBC has an "outperform" rating and $23 price target on ATI, and no rating on AMD. The firm expects ATI to report fiscal 2007 earnings per share of $1.06. It has long been discussed that the graphics-companies are likely to be bought by one of the microprocessor companies, according to Walia. However, for AMD-rival Intel, a partnership with a graphics company may not be the best idea.

Thanks to Ryan Shrout and mAdD INDIAN for sending in this news.  Of course, Forbes has been wrong before.



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i don't think so.....
By ncage on 5/31/2006 1:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ill believe it when i see it. I read something on tomshardware yesterday about microsoft buying ebay which i don't believe either. I don't think these mergers make much sense but when nvidia was in the graphics business who would have ever thought they would get into the chipset buisness.




RE: i don't think so.....
By CoolDK on 5/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: i don't think so.....
By Fenixgoon on 5/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: i don't think so.....
By George Powell on 5/31/2006 2:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
Although technically it would be possible, there would be serious legal issue over the anti competitve nature of such a thing.

On the other hand chipsets that offered better performance would be far more acceptable, not least because chipsets tend to support only one cpu type and in the case of SLI and crossfire only one gpu manufacturer for high end graphics.


RE: i don't think so.....
By GoatMonkey on 5/31/2006 1:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
ATI is making AMD chipsets now also. The nVidia chipsets seem to be much better in my opinion though.

It sort of makes sense if AMD is considering branching out to building nearly complete computer systems. After that they would just need a storage division or another merger.



RE: i don't think so.....
By bunnyfubbles on 5/31/2006 3:31:41 PM , Rating: 3
Your opinion wouldn't be so black/white if it matched the facts. ATI chipsets are right up their with nVidia for AMD platforms, in fact, some of the best s939 boards features ATI chipsets...

However, I don't know if such a merger would be that great for everyone involved. AMD would essentially start competition up with one of their bigger supporters - nVidia. Not only is there that possible alienation, if AMD/ATI continues to produce GPUs, then the merged company would most likley be playing second fiddle in both the CPU and GPU realm, I'm not so sure you want to be facing a double uphill battle


RE: i don't think so.....
By bob661 on 5/31/2006 4:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ATI chipsets are right up their with nVidia for AMD platforms, in fact, some of the best s939 boards features ATI chipsets...
I see no facts in this statement either.
Anywho, I believe AMD would be looking for an in house chipset manufacturer as well as integrated video manufacturer. Think Intel.


RE: i don't think so.....
By Praxis1452 on 5/31/2006 8:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
What did he say was wrong? ATI chipsets are used in top of the line motherboards such as the CFX3200-DR and the A8R32-MVP both equivalent to their nvidia counterparts.


RE: i don't think so.....
By Googer on 6/1/2006 1:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anywho, I believe AMD would be looking for an in house chipset manufacturer as well as integrated video manufacturer. Think Intel


AMD already has made their own chipsets for Athlon XP and still makes a few in limited quantities for the Opteron. AMD has said in the past that making core logic is not where they want to focus and would rarther have third parties do that work for them. They have the capability but choose not to use it.


RE: i don't think so.....
By hstewarth on 5/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: i don't think so.....
By Trisped on 5/31/2006 1:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
ATI actually has more in the non-gaming market then NVIDIA, not to mention their partnership with Intel.


RE: i don't think so.....
By johnsonx on 5/31/2006 1:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
ATI doesn't make chipsets?

NVidia's chipsets may be more popular at the moment, but ATI's chipsets have been maturing rapidly. Also, like the article says, for notebooks ATI pretty much is the only game in town... you buy a Turion 64 notebook, and there's ATI under the hood. NVidia notebook chipsets seem pretty much non-existent. Dominating the AMD notebook chipset market and having up-and-coming products in the desktop market is fine by ATI (and AMD too), since there's more money to be made in the notebook market.
ATI doesn't have anything in the server space, but that could be remedied quite easily if AMD were to buy them. AMD does actually know how to make a chipset; when they had to do it, their 760 and 760mpx chipsets were quite good at the time (lets not discuss the 750... it was never meant for actual production or consumer use, but VIA dropped the ball so AMD was forced to produce it).


RE: i don't think so.....
By johnsonx on 6/1/2006 3:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about this comment posting engine.... I'm about 100% certain that I clicked on the Reply button for the post a bit below titled 'Meh...', where the OP claimed if AMD bought NVidia they'd get graphics AND chipsets... thereby implying ATi doesn't make any chipsets. My comments make little sens in the 'i don't think so....' thread.

This isn't the first time, or even only the 100th time, that someone has complained about the comment engine here at DT. Fix it!


RE: i don't think so.....
By killerroach on 5/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: i don't think so.....
By Viditor on 5/31/2006 1:59:27 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
If an AMD-nVidia link were to happen, it would be nVidia buying AMD, not the other way around

Nvidia is worth $8 billion, and AMD is worth $15 billion...


RE: i don't think so.....
By z3R0C00L on 5/31/2006 5:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
ATi is worth more then nVIDIA. ATi owns more assets and an overal larger marketshare then nVIDIA.


RE: i don't think so.....
By Viditor on 6/1/2006 3:24:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
ATi is worth more then nVIDIA

No, actually ATI is worth half of Nvidia...
Nvidia has a market cap of $8 billion, and ATI is $4 billion.


Meh...
By jskirwin on 5/31/2006 1:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I buy it, maybe not.

Synergies, huh?
By synergies I take they mean "stuffing fistfuls of shareholder wealth into boardmember pockets."

Beyond that I don't see what value AMD gets from ATI. Nvidia would appear a better fit, since AMD would get its hands on graphics tech AND chipsets.




RE: Meh...
By Viditor on 5/31/2006 1:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see what value AMD gets from ATI. Nvidia would appear a better fit, since AMD would get its hands on graphics tech AND chipsets

ATI also makes chipsets (it's about 15-20% of their income).


RE: Meh...
By Viditor on 5/31/2006 1:37:59 PM , Rating: 4
The problem with an ATI/Intel merger is that Intel is a huge manufacturer of both graphics chips and chipsets too...it would be quite difficult to get the DOJ to approve the deal.


RE: Meh...
By Viditor on 5/31/2006 1:43:26 PM , Rating: 1
A note to our sponsors, DT...

Guys, this system keeps grabbing the wrong post when I reply.


Being an analyst is fun!
By AndreasM on 5/31/2006 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
It will end with Ati trying to buy Ati. This will cause Intel to buy itself giving AMD 100% market share of the CPU business, causing the government to split them up in three companies called A, M and D. Strong Buy.


RE: Being an analyst is fun!
By bounds on 5/31/2006 2:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
Have you been smoking something?


Intel/ATi
By Lonyo on 5/31/2006 1:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of weeks ago there were rumours of an Intel/ATI deal, now it's AMD.
http://theinquirer.net/?article=31730
Where will it end? nVidia ATI?!?




RE: Intel/ATi
By Trisped on 5/31/2006 1:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that NVIDIA is the small company with the limited line. ATI is a good buy right now, having just finished their last console card their gamer sales should sky rocket. They also have a major part of the ICC, laptop, and mobile market. And don't forget that they are one of the few makers of quality video cards for the Mac systems.

If I was to call one company cheaper it would be NVIDIA. Sure they have a great PC add in and chipset market, but that is about it.


RE: Intel/ATi
By Trisped on 5/31/2006 1:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, either I hit the wrong button or it posted in the wrong spot.


RE: Intel/ATi
By Sunbird on 5/31/2006 2:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
It posted in the wrong spot by itself, I suggest reading the "replying to:" part to make sure its behind the correct post.


RE: Intel/ATi
By shadowzz on 5/31/2006 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
SOURCES SO CLOSE to Nvidia that they are barely a fag paper away suggest chip giant Intel loves ATI so much, Chipzilla might buy the Canadian firm.

Incredible what passes for news these days.


RE: Intel/ATi
By OvErHeAtInG on 5/31/2006 6:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's a tabloid, what do you want...

(That's from the Inq I assume?)


ATI
By Rampage on 5/31/2006 1:34:42 PM , Rating: 1
ATI is a cheap buy in comparison compared to Nvidia.. and ATI is looking at hard times sales wise in the retail sector vs Nvidia judging from the popularity of NV product over ATI product in both GPUs and chipsets.

I'm sure they'd love to buy Nvidia if it didnt break them.

The world would be best off if Nvidia bought AMD. But that wont happen.




RE: ATI
By Trisped on 5/31/2006 1:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that NVIDIA is the small company with the limited line. ATI is a good buy right now, having just finished their last console card their gamer sales should sky rocket. They also have a major part of the ICC, laptop, and mobile market. And don't forget that they are one of the few makers of quality video cards for the Mac systems.

If I was to call one company cheaper it would be NVIDIA. Sure they have a great PC add in and chipset market, but that is about it.


RE: ATI
By mushi799 on 5/31/2006 6:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thx you for pointing out the fact that Nvidia crushes Ati in terms of total value instead of talking out of ur ass like other people.

Remember Ati has been in the intregated video market for quite some time. Nvidia has recently (last 2 years) entered the market and they have done a good job.

Nvidia is signed to work with Sony on the next playstation and PSP. They also have contracts with various cell phone manufacturers.


RE: ATI
By Trisped on 6/1/2006 11:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thx you for pointing out the fact that Nvidia crushes Ati in terms of total value instead of talking out of ur ass like other people.
Actually I never said anything of the sort. If you read my post you will find I implied that ATI has a much more diverse portfolio of products, where NVIDIA's is quite limited. Yes, NVIDIA has been expanding lately, but that doesn't bring them to equal ground with the veteran products of ATI.

Yes, NVIDIA has Sony, but ATI has Nintendo and Microsoft. That is two console systems which are likely to see many more units sold then the PS3 due to cost, and a hand held which is considered to have won the hand held market this time around.

Yeah, looks like a farce anyways
http://www.thestreet.com/_tscrss/tech/semis/102890...


RE: ATI
By Viditor on 6/2/2006 4:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, looks like a farce anyways

Not a farce, but not fact either...it's an analyst's opinion (as was the rebuttal you linked).


RE: ATI
By Viditor on 5/31/2006 1:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
ATI has a Market cap of ~$4 Billion, and NVidia has a Market cap of ~$8 Billion...this of course means that Nvidia is twice as expensive as ATI.


Sounds like the car that runs on water fantasy
By Trisped on 5/31/2006 1:34:44 PM , Rating: 3
What is this, a financial analysis thinks that he can predict an AMD ATI merger based on company value and market balance. Sounds like they are trying to push AMD and ATI stock prices higher. When employees are talking about it then I will consider it a rumor.

And don't forget ATI's deal with Intel. They are the only providers of quality Intel boards with multi-GPU support and I don't think Intel would be happy to find they were partnered with their only competition.




By hstewarth on 5/31/2006 2:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
There is also nVidia nForce 590 for Intel chips also .. This seams to be mention a lot when announcement about nForce 5 were coming out.

But with Intel is best to used Intel chipsets currently.


By hstewarth on 5/31/2006 2:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
One additional thing, AMD does not have there own chipset like Intel, buy ATI would be one way of having it and also excluding Intel from any of ATI chipsets and possibly GPU's.


By GoatMonkey on 5/31/2006 3:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has made their own chipsets in the past. It's not that they are incapable of making them, they just don't. They pretty much have to make some sort of chipset just to test their new CPUs anyway. I don't know why AMD hasn't started producing them again.

Now, if they wanted a fully developed chipset without spending any time debugging it for some reason, then I suppose ATI would help them out with that. I would think ATIs video chips would be the more attractive piece of hardware to AMD though.


By Trisped on 6/1/2006 11:42:47 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone I talk to that has owned or read up on the NVIDIA chipsets for Intel processors say that you are not only better off with Intel chipsets but that the NVIDIA ones should not even be considered a product due to poor performance and stability issues. This may be fixed in the next chipset, but I doubt it.


Problems with this rumour
By peternelson on 5/31/2006 7:34:45 PM , Rating: 1
In my opinion, I prefer Nvidia graphics cards and Nvidia chipsets over ATI. This is particularly true in the mainstream/enthusiast/gamer and high end multi opteron segments.

I would think it would be a better move if AMD bought Nvidia.

However, to buy either ATI or Nvidia would set AMD against the unbought company who had formerly been its partner.

Maybe ATI offer better notebook chipsets, but I don't see how it serves AMD's purpose really.

They should want to keep both ATI and Nvidia on their side in terms of both graphics and chipset support.

If they think it through I suspect they may conclude such rumoured deal is not really in their best interests.

IF it were possible to split the companies into graphics and chipset subsidiaries, then there might be some advantage in buying the chipset part of the business (particularly Nvidia for the server space).

I wonder if there are any other acquisitions they could make eg clearspeed who are relatively small in cost to buy but align with AMD strategy to use acceleration in tandem with high end AMD processors. They could acquire the IP rights and it would help them sell opterons. Maybe other potential acquisition targets suitable too.




RE: Problems with this rumour
By hstewarth on 5/31/2006 9:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
AMD can't buy nVidia because nVidia cost too much and likely not looking for a buyer.


RE: Problems with this rumour
By peternelson on 6/1/2006 4:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
The markets are all about BORROWING money to take over companies.

Anyway Nvidia recently bought ULI which made them even stronger in the chipset business. That is why ATI had to release a better southbridge SB600 cos they couldn't rely on being paired with ULI chipset much longer.

The chipset expertise of Nvidia combined with ULI would be a great asset to AMD, however, this is just speculation.


RE: Problems with this rumour
By Viditor on 6/2/2006 4:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The markets are all about BORROWING money to take over companies

While you're right here, the price tag is quite rich...
Nvidia has a market cap of $8 billion, ATI $4 billion, and AMD $15 billion...


As long as...
By DigitalFreak on 5/31/2006 12:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
they don't dump the graphics card bi'nuss




RE: As long as...
By Wahsapa on 5/31/2006 9:08:39 PM , Rating: 1
its not amd buying ati its intel, because intel really wants 'good' intergrated graphics.

if anybodys buying ati its for their graphics IP/R&D.


RE: As long as...
By Sunrise089 on 5/31/2006 10:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
In other words you're taking the word of The Inquirer over Forbes? I don't know if any merger will happen, but to me it makes more sense for the company that isn't in the integrated graphics business already to buy out ATI.


Meanwhile, at Matrox
By shecknoscopy on 5/31/2006 3:43:45 PM , Rating: 3
MATROX: Anyone want to buy us? Hello? Anyone?

(Takes a sip of RC Cola)

MATROX: Damn, I'm lonely.




RE: Meanwhile, at Matrox
By Clauzii on 5/31/2006 5:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
But they have their part in the multiscreen solutions at a very high picture quality :)


Next step for AMD CPU's?
By mwilkinson on 5/31/2006 4:43:00 PM , Rating: 3
First on-die memory controllers
Next on-die video controllers??




RE: Next step for AMD CPU's?
By Trisped on 6/1/2006 11:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
Not likely. The on die memory controller is controversial at best. Intel never did it because they found the space could be used for bigger L2 cache and get a very similar result. Plus, on die memory controllers are very difficult to up grade, which is why Intel has been using DDR2 for a few years now but AMD is just starting to. To do the same thing with a CPU/GPU combo would result in a very expensive way of providing GPUs which would always be a step (or 3) behind.

Then there is the extra heat issue, as the GPU would greatly increase the amount of heat needed to be dissipated.

And don't forget the required graphics memory and other things located on the graphics board. There aren't there just to be pretty.

Yes, it would be nice to have everything in just one chip, but the time and money needed to get it there would preclude it ever being useful for a desktop PC.


now all we need....
By dgingeri on 5/31/2006 3:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
...is to have nVidia start working on processors. Then we'd have 3 companies manufacturing the whole core logic of computers, and other things. I really don't think that would be much of a reach for nVidia. they make really good graphics chips, and in many ways they are more advanced than current CPU's.

Intel makes some pretty good CPU's but suck on chipsets and graphics. AMD make pretty good CPU's, and with ATI they'd make good graphics as well, but sucky chipsets. nVidia makes really good graphics and OK chipsets, so they'd only have to make decent, or maybe even below average (celeron level) processors and they'd do pretty well.




RE: now all we need....
By Eris23007 on 5/31/2006 6:30:05 PM , Rating: 2

I don't know where you get the idea that Intel chipsets suck. OK, their integrated graphics aren't exactly wonderful, but Intel chipsets are still the gold standard against which all others must be judged for reliability, compatibility, and power consumption... Fine, perhaps they don't overclock quite as well as some ohers, but to me, that's the least important aspect of the lot.


By phatboye on 5/31/2006 6:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
... a lot of you people have no clue as to wtf you are talking about.




By INeedCache on 6/1/2006 5:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
I second that conclusion.


Forbes report
By crystal clear on 6/1/2006 7:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
If one anlyses the forbes report-
1) They are only reporting a news item of some guy in the financial cirlces.
2) there is now evidence to backup the news-no sources are quoted by the analyst.
3) HE only gives a possible combination of 2 firms if they merge then what?
Speculators make a big buck on rumours & a matter of fact thrive on it.
I think one should not make a big issue of it & ignore it.
If & when there is one - ok we can discuss the subject,until then let speculators on the stock exchange play it up,whilst we play it DOWN




RE: Forbes report
By crystal clear on 6/1/2006 7:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry type error-item 2 to read
there NO evidence


Interesting thought
By lifeblood on 5/31/2006 4:29:55 PM , Rating: 3
About a year ago I asked a Gateway Computers manager why they didn't sell AMD desktops. He replied that AMD doesn't sell "complete solutions". If you look in a Gateway PC, the motherboard, drivers, and CPU are Intel. Gateway puts it into a box and adds some things but it is Intel at the core. If AMD buys ATI that could change. Then AMD could also offer "complete systems" to include motherboard, drivers, and CPU. I wonder if this is a Gateway only phenomenon or a much wider practice.




Makes sense
By Patrese on 5/31/2006 2:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think it makes sense. If AMD wants to make its own plataforms (like Centrino) they need to have chipsets and graphic cards in house. For ATI, it would make sense as a way to getting access to manufacturing technologies. I can't see AMD producing ATI GPU's on its on Fabs without hurting their CPU business, but AMD can improve ATI's production by sharing their technology.




By Bull Dog on 5/31/2006 3:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
Weren't we milking the rumor just a little bit ago how Intel might acquire ATI? LoL.




All I have to say is
By Josh7289 on 5/31/2006 3:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
What?!




By PandaBear on 5/31/2006 8:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, if AMD buy ATI, then they have to get rid of the graphics card business, seriously damage their relationship with nVidia and VIA, and potentially f- themselves in the a-s-s if ATI's graphics performance slip. I think AMD may license some integrated graphics core and build an integrated CPU with NB/GPU or something like that, but it is very hard to focus and do well in both.

This kind of irrational merger usually end up driving away customers and kill the resulting merged company. Sounds like someone owning lots of ATI share want to hype the market and dump it out for a high gain. Just like that anal-ist saying SanDisk stock will drop by 50% this summer (so he can get it for cheap), or ML's anal-ist say GM is recovering and upgrade its rating.




Intel already has graphics
By InternetGeek on 5/31/2006 1:44:44 PM , Rating: 1
So I don't think its likely they are looking to buy someone. They can profit quite well from the business sector and work closely with GPU makers. Every single GPU that provides some advantage tied to Intel chips means earnigs.

AMD does need graphics but buying either ATI or nVidia doesn't make sense. Too many fronts.




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