AMD 690 Delayed Again
Anh Tuan Huynh
December 21, 2006 1:23 AM
Licensing, confusion causes delays
AMD was expected to release its long awaited ATI RS690 integrated graphics chipset shortly after the AM2 launch in mid-2006. Since the AMD acquisition of ATI, the chipset has since been renamed to AMD 690. The
AMD 690 chipset is currently in its A12 stepping
, which is near final silicon. However, AMD has run into a slight delay with the AMD 690 chipset.
AMD is asking major members of the Chinese media to remove all references of the chipset in articles from their publications by Christmas day or be left out when it comes to review samples.
Motherboard samples based on the AMD 690 chipset were expected early next year. Manufacturers were expected to have motherboards ready to be shipped as early as January 2007. Nevertheless, it appears AMD is waiting until early February 2007 to launch the long-awaited and delayed AMD 690.
has learned the further delay of the AMD 690 chipset is likely due to licensing issues regarding its HDCP implementation. While AMD possesses the
proper licensing for HDCP support on several products
, it lacks licensing for the AMD 690 specifically. This is because the HDMI consortium requires additional licensing fees per product in addition to the yearly fees AMD already pays for its HDCP-compliant products.
HDCP is just the tip of the iceberg. The AMD 690’s support for HDMI is also brought to question. Although the TMDS transmitter endowed AMD 690 variants will support HDMI with the proper external chips, AMD isn’t allowed to mention HDMI support without a license. Specific manufacturers anticipating to announce RS690 motherboards -- MSI, DFI and ASUS -- will still need valid licenses for HDMI, HDCP and Macrovision, as well as per-board validation.
Recently, ATI came under close scrutiny with regard to
false claims regarding HDCP readiness
. HDMI, HDCP and Macrovision need to be licensed on the chipset vendor and the motherboard manufacturer, and it appears as though AMD is hardpressed to repeat the mistake made by ATI last year.
Despite setbacks, ASUS is expected to have an AMD 690 based motherboard ready next month, though it will most likely lack HDMI and HDCP support.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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