Simon’s Backup Weblog


More Smart Industry Moves…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on July 24, 2006

…as AMD purchases ATI.

It’s an interesting fit with AMD’s plans to build on the success of its Opteron chips and open up HyperTransport for the development of dedicated co-processors (including physics engines and Java machines). AMD needs the expertise of a motherboard and chipset manufacturer to get this project, code-named Terrazzo, working well, and to drive the development of 64-bit servers.

It’ll also counteract the Intel push to own the home PC platform, with a strong media PC alternative to Viiv. ATI’s a strong player in the Windows Media Centre space, so it should give AMD more traction with OEMs and other hardware manufacturers.

All in all good for the industry. But I’m not sure what it’ll mean for Nvidia in the short term.

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11 Responses to 'More Smart Industry Moves…'

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  1. ciphergoth said,

    …especially since NVidia make chipsets for AMD-based motherboards!

  2. andrewducker said,

    Exactly. I’m not terribly happy about vertically integrated markets, I’d much rather the two main competitors in the 3D graphics space were independent.

  3. alexmc said,

    I’d be surprised if it hurts Nvidia that much in the short term. We shall see.

  4. alexmc said,

    But I would assume that the mb manufacturers would still be buying CPUs from AMD and MB chipsets from nvidea. It will be some time before we see whole CPUs and MB’s from AMD.

  5. sbisson said,

    Except Intel is pulling people’s chipset licenses – it sees itself as the third player, and is pushing on the success of the 945 chipsets.

  6. sbisson said,

    The question is really how they react to the end of the GPU market, and move into coprocessors…

  7. andrewducker said,

    Which will only happen if Intel also supports co-processors, in the same way that AMD does.

    If not then Nvidia will either be the only people producing cards for Intel, or AMD will be selling cards to people to work with their competitor’s product.

    ATI are about to have their sense of direction split quite badly – focus on co-processors (and have their add-ins suffer) or on add-in cards (and not integrate as well with their parent company). Unless the chip designs can function as well as co-processors and add-in cards without compromising either’s speed. Which strikes me as unlikely.

  8. sbisson said,

    But as Intel want to own the whole motherboard…

  9. andrewducker said,

    But their graphics cards are nowhere near as good as the ATI/Nvidia solutions. If they give up on those then they’ll lose the gaming market. Are they erally willing to cede all of that territory (and publicity) to AMD?

  10. sbisson said,

    Yes. Because it’s such a small market.

    The real battle is between Viiv and Live for the living room. It’s going to be a long war for the hardware (the software battle is pretty much over before it’s begun), and Intel has already pulled ATI’s chipset license.

    Viiv will be the 945 and its derivatives, and Live, well, if AMD continues being as open as it has been in the past, will be AMD/ATI, Nvidia, Via etc.

  11. andrewducker said,

    Personally, I’d say that _that_ battle was definitely over before its begun. And that Scientific Atlanta and Amstrad have won it. I know a single person who has a DVR that runs MCE and numerous that have Sky+, TVDrive or a Freeview DVR box.

    Of course, in the US they have the CableCard initiative, which makes it easier to integrate Cable (or satellite) into a box, but even then it’s significantly more expensive to do that than to buy a dedicated machine.

    I, of course, have to be different. Which is why I have a Tivo (because the interface is still superior) and a Kiss DP-500 for streaming music/AVI/MPEG from the computer. Still cheaper than buying a PC to do it – and darn near silent.


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