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What does the future hold for AMD and ATI?

The AMD-ATI merger had been rumored for months. Many took it as wild speculation on a deal that would likely never come to fruition. Well, over the weekend the rumors became even more credible and yesterday AMD made the big announcement.

FiringSquad has also completed an interview with AMD and in addition received some colorful commentary from NVIDIA's Derek Perez; "So if you think about it, it’s kind of like ATI’s thrown in the towel right? Getting beat on both ends, looking for a way out, a little bit like 3dfx a few years back."  Of course, it should probably be mentioned that NVIDIA bought 3dfx. 

AMD executive vice president Henri Richard took the opportunity to sit down and talk with DigiTimes about the ATI acquisition and its plans for the future. In the interview, Richard talks about the perceived risk that AMD is taking by possibly biting off more than it can chew with the acquisition, what this means for AMD's relationship with NVIDIA and the company's plans for graphics in general. When asked if AMD motherboards would still use NVIDIA core logic, Richard replied "I surely hope so, absolutely." In an interview with Bytesector, Perez also assures us "We will continue to work with AMD to bring our brands to our mutual customers," but warns "We are now Intel's best GPU partner."

Cliff Edwards at BusinessWeek claims the writing is already on the wall for disaster.  AMD CEO Hector Ruiz stated that "We will move from being neighbors to being a family," to which Edwards immediately followed up with "the problem with families — especially those formed by multibillion-dollar corporate mergers — is that they often end up dysfunctional."  Edwards goes on to detail why the merger is great for NVIDIA and Intel, and detrimental for ATI and AMD.

Scott Wasson from TechReport has a very concise outline of the details surrounding the deal, Mercury Research claims "the holy grail of integration for ATI and AMD is going to be an integrated processor — a combination of a graphics processor and a processor," Forbes believes the mobile semiconductor industry will turn into a bloodbath, TSMC assured the world its manufacturing relations with ATI will continue business as usual, The Register believes an AMD-ATI system-on-a-chip is the only way for both companies to survive, and finally CRN has the definitive "no" as to whether or not AMD will produce its own line of motherboards based on ATI core logic.

And finally, Ken Fisher at Arstechnica warns that everyone should take a breather and lay off the rampant speculation, as the deal is still not even finalized.  Specifically Fisher claims "And when it comes to claims about motherboard licensing, ATI, NVIDIA, and chipsets, bear this one key point in mind: this is not a done deal."  However, if ATI does terminate the agreement at this point the company will have to fork over $162M dollars to AMD.

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RE: ATI has problems
By TomZ on 7/25/2006 12:59:46 PM , Rating: 3
ATI has had excellent drivers for years now. People who still think their problems from 5+ years ago exist today need to take their heads out of the sand.

I think "excellent" is an overstatement. I have a Radeon X1800 and am using Catalyst V6.6, and I use multi-monitor and RDC a lot, and their drivers have bugs transitioning between RDC and local display. I also don't like the long startup of the Control Center and the way it "flashes" the display during startup. Control Center is also pretty buggy as well (e.g., sometimes shows features that are not actually available for my card).

These issues don't cause my any serious problems, but I surely wouldn't rate the drivers as "excellent."

RE: ATI has problems
By ahkey on 7/25/2006 1:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
ATI drivers are "excellent" compared to, say, NVIDIA's Quad SLI drivers or Creative's XFI drivers. They really are.

RE: ATI has problems
By Ard on 7/25/2006 5:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
Low-blow, anyone? How are you even going to compare the Cat 6.6s to the Quad SLI drivers, which just came out? Come on, let's at least keep the comparisons equal.

As to the topic, it's going to be interesting to see what develops from this new company. Let's just hope we don't look back on this day a few years from now and regret that it happened.

RE: ATI has problems
By lemonadesoda on 7/25/2006 9:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
TomZ... I recommend uninstalling ATi Catalyst and reinstalling ONLY the drivers. (Its a separate download).

I've done this, and I also use UltraMon to control the second display. It's excellent. And perfect if you have 2 identical displays side by side. It takes care of the toolbar, and window swapping.

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