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AMD and ATI are already planning scalable designs for 2008
"Torrenza" platforms and unified GPU/CPU processors

AMD announced the $5.4B USD takeover of ATI earlier today, but the new company is already making large plans for the future.  Dave Orton, soon-to-be Executive Vice President of AMD's ATI Division, claimed that AMD and ATI would begin leveraging the sales of both companies by 2007.  However, a slide from the AMD/ATI merger documentation has already shown some interesting development plans for 2008.

Specifically, it appears as though AMD and ATI are planning unified, scalable platforms using a mixture of AMD CPUs, ATI chipsets and ATI GPUs.  This sort of multi-GPU, multi-CPU architecture is extremely reminiscent of AMD's Torrenza technology announced this past June, which allows low-latency communications between chipset, CPU and main memory. The premise for Torrenza is to open the channel for embedded chipset development from 3rd party companies. AMD said the technology is an open architecture, allowing what it called "accelerators" to be plugged into the system to perform special duties, similar to the way we have a dedicated GPU for graphics.

Furthermore, AMD President Dirk Meyer also confirmed that in addition to multi-processor platforms, stating "As we look towards ever finer manufacturing geometries we see the opportunity to integrate CPU and GPU cores together onto the same die to better serve the needs of some segments."  A clever DailyTech reader recently pointed out that AMD just recently filed its first graphics-oriented patent a few weeks ago.  The patent, titled "CPU and graphics unit with shared cache" seems to indicate that these pet projects at AMD are a little more than just pipe dreams.

During the AMD/ATI merger conference call, Meyer furthermore added that not too long ago, floating point processing was done on a separate piece of silicon.  Meyer claimed that the trend for the FPU integration into the CPU may not be too different than the evolution of the GPU into the CPU.

Bob Rivet, AMD's Chief Financial Officer, claims the combined company will save nearly $75M USD in licensing and development overlap in 2007 alone, and another $125M in 2008.  Clearly the combined development between the two companies has a few cogs in motion already.

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Makes room for New Memory Tech
By rupaniii on 7/24/2006 8:52:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well, if there is to be any SERIOUS integrated GPU technology, you might as well feed the whole platform very fast memory. Perhaps if GDDR4 could be made available as a large pool of unified memory everything could be hyper fast. Who knows, as long as it all doesn't go all awry. Does INTEL have the $$$ or Interest to buy NVidia?

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By phatboye on 7/24/2006 8:59:56 AM , Rating: 2
If intel were to even think about buying nvidia the government would scream bloody murder.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By tuteja1986 on 7/24/2006 9:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
Intel has nothing to gain if they buy Nvidia because Nvidia doesn't bring crapall that Intel doesn't have. Buying Nvida would be a more of hassel and expensive. They have already started development on a mini core and amd knows that if they don't start this development , they are screwed in 5 years time. I learn why AMD bought ATI so quickly :( for survival.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Griswold on 7/24/2006 12:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia has something Intel doesnt: the know-how to make high performance GPUs. But that is by no means enough incentive to get in the ring with the FTC about buying the no. 2 on the market.

And about your other assumption as to why AMD took this step - thats not really plausible.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By akugami on 7/24/2006 12:43:01 PM , Rating: 3
You're somehow implying Intel wouldn't be able to hire the engineers needed to make a high performance GPU. The reason Intel is unlikely to be interested in the higher end GPU arena is due to the highly competitive nature of this niche market. Intel vastly outsells nVidia and ATI in overall GPU sales, granted it's all integrated chipsets. The majority of GPU sales are in the low and mid range. It would be completely naive to think that Intel can't ramp up their current GPU's from being just low end to being low to mid end.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Samus on 7/24/2006 2:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
precisely. nvidia's revenues are pennies on the dollar to intel's processor, chipset and flash divisions.

there is no real profit in gpu development for intel...besides, the gma950 is actually a decent onboard processor, about x550 class, and runs windows vista aeroglass.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Tyler 86 on 7/26/2006 11:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
'x550' class?
You must be huffing the rapidly incinerating substrate off of a SERIOUSLY overclocked GMA 950.

You comparing it to ATi's x550 .. ?

It's rivaled by ATi's Xpress IGP & X300 IGP low end video, which is also much cheaper, I might add.
800x600 HQ noAA/AF @ 14fps in Doom 3...
ATi's X550 pulls about 15 fps at 1280x1024 4xAA noAF
~25fps @ 1024x768 4xAA ...

There's no way it can hold a candle to it.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By hstewarth on 7/24/2006 3:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually this makes case for Intel monopoly a less of a case. Because AMD and Intel on same company, it means both Intel and nVidia are could likely be cut out ATI and AMD products respectfully.

It is better off the CPU companies are seperated from GPU because it gives move user choices.

I think in the long term this is going lead to doom for AMD/ATI. Or complete seperation of markets between the two.

By hstewarth on 7/24/2006 3:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
Opps first line should be ATI and Intel on same company, it would be a real Intel Monopoly if Intel and AMD were on same company. :)

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By OrSin on 7/24/2006 9:00:12 AM , Rating: 4
Intel don't want NV. Why would they? Intel chipsets and grpahic chips out sell them 4:1. AMD on the other hand has no chip ot graphics division and must really on third party vendors like Nv, ATI, SIS. I'm still wondering why AMD bought ATI over NV. In truth I thought AMD should ahve bought out ULI ( I think that the name) before Nv did.
They were dirt and had some very good chipsets.

On thing that will be nice is that ATI should be much better osuth bridge out of the deal. With this merger I see a slotted GPU in the new 4v4 platform. That could be nice of the intergrated market.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By DallasTexas on 7/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By shadowzz on 7/24/2006 9:11:56 AM , Rating: 1
I think Intel should pick up nVidia for the excellent management staff, if nothing else!


RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By DallasTexas on 7/24/2006 9:13:44 AM , Rating: 2
Good point.

Intel needs to replace the 1,000 managers they laid off last week. Brilliant idea.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By shadowzz on 7/24/2006 9:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think I'd rather have no one work than have BDR work at my company.

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Griswold on 7/24/2006 12:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
Does INTEL have the $$$ or Interest to buy NVidia?

Three letters: FTC

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By TomZ on 7/24/2006 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Griswold on 7/25/2006 4:45:40 AM , Rating: 1
You think they will just let the No. 1 buy the No. 2? Wake up tomz..

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By bob661 on 7/25/2006 3:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Does INTEL have the $$$ or Interest to buy NVidia?
Intel doesn't need to buy Nvidia. Intel already has their own fabs and makes their own chipsets and GPU's. Besides, Intel has the majority market share for both chipsets and GPU's. Why would they need Nvidia or ATI or anyone else for that matter?

RE: Makes room for New Memory Tech
By Tyler 86 on 7/26/2006 11:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
They don't need them, but if they want to offer a viable graphics solution, they probably can't do it without help.

I don't think Intel will buy nVidia.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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