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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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Drivers Drivers Drivers
By othercents on 7/25/2006 5:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
There have been very interesting comments about ATI and Nvidia drivers, but I guess we need to set some things strait.

ATI drivers are "excellent" compared to, say, NVIDIA's Quad SLI drivers

Nvidia Quad SLI drivers came out on July 19th and they are only Beta drivers. You can't compare currently released ATI drivers to beta Nvidia drivers. Plus no one else has every had to write Quad SLI drivers before, so just getting something out there that runs is good. Especially since the 7950GX2 hasn't been out for that long.

ATI use to have very bad drivers, but they have gotten better. Much better in many cases. It is also true that Nvidia has gotten worse with their drivers. They are not bad, but they are not the same as they use to be. Does this mean we all should dump our Nvidia cards and get ATI cards?? No way.. Personally the games I play, play much better on Nvidia cards than they do on ATI. Some of this has to do with the driver, but most of it has to do with the hardware.

Nvidia is still the choice for Linux. I tried running Linux on my ATI card, but it didn't work at all. My old laptop ran it fine, but my desktop crashed.

Now does any of this have to do with the Merger?? No not at all. AMD would not have purchased Nvidia because of their management style differences. AMD and ATI have about the same management styles and it is a good fit. It might not be a good decision, but only time will tell. Knowing AMD and the CPU innovations that they came up with, I actually believe that this will be the best for both companies (and Nvidia if you care).


RE: Drivers Drivers Drivers
By Trisped on 7/26/2006 1:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
Apples and Oranges.

And you fell for it. The ATI drivers don't nativly support Crossfire with more then 2 cards, where the NVIDIA drivers support 4, but are still in beta. It is like compairing SLI drivers when they first came out with the drivers from ATI.

Unless ATI has developed a way to combine 3 GPUs in a crossfire set up, this is no big deal.

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