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How will AMD Ati merger benefit either company?

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July 24, 2006 12:38:42 PM

Will the company be able to use the same manufacturing process for both processors and graphics cards? Will we see 65nm at the same time for graphics and processors?

Is there some part of the arcitecture that is common between graphic cards and processors?

If not. How will this merger save any costs?
July 24, 2006 1:23:22 PM

128 viewers and not one answer.

Was this a bad thread or are the questions just hard to answer?
July 24, 2006 1:28:51 PM

Quote:
128 viewers and not one answer.

Was this a bad thread or are the questions just hard to answer?


Focus on consumer electronics and product integration.
- "We realize that we will lose some of ATI's revenue on the Intel platform".
- Major goal is to gain CPU share through better platforms and ecosystems.
- Won't expand fabs in order to fit in all of ATI's products internally.
- Opportunity to in-house some of them to maximize foundry utilization.


A few bullets from the announcement today. So, they have an "opportunity to in house" some of ATI's product, but that doesn't mean that they will.
AMD's goal is to gain CPU share, so that sounds like it could hurt ATI's innovation.

I am a not a glass is half full kind of guy, so take my interpretation of this for what it is worth (honestly not much). I just don't think that this will help ATI much, but it should help AMD with chipsets. Although, will it help them to the tune of 6 billion dollars? Time will tell.
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July 24, 2006 1:50:50 PM

AMD lost a customer, from this point forward it is intel.
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July 24, 2006 1:55:17 PM

Quote:
128 viewers and not one answer.

Was this a bad thread or are the questions just hard to answer?


Patience...gotta give people more than an hour to reply...

At the very least, the merger will help with AMD's mobo chipset support...combining fab processes and facilities as well as reduction of corporate redundancies (HR, Payroll, Medical) will also help save money...however, I think the true gains will be realized once AMD and ATI combine their mArch/core technology...think of the potential with socketed GPU's...potential with 4x4...should be interesting to see what these companies come up with...
July 24, 2006 1:56:29 PM

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6259

This is probably speculation on their part but it does read quite well, with regards to ATI, being able to utilize the AMD manufacturing process to lower the costs of their cards to compete with Nvidia.

also nvidia is quite optimistic in its outlook over the ATI/AMD merger as this will leave them as the sole AMD/Intel chipset provider now that Intel has not renewed ATI's license..

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6263
July 24, 2006 2:02:43 PM

I think the real outlooks on this are still a little ways off when the companies start laying out co-joined roadmaps.

What I'm expecting is that they combine effors on the AMD 4x4 conceptuals and try and take the industry in a different direction than Intel currently offers. I think they will appempt to steer versus fitting the cookie cutter world of today's computer parts.

I imagine an AMD system where you can drop in a 4 or 8 core chip in one socket and then toss in an ATI physics unit + graphics preprocessor + who knows what else into the other socket, or choose to go with 2 4 or 8 core chips. I think the variety we are used to in expansion cards on our PCs is heading to the motherboards if AMD gets the chance to steer the industry some.
July 24, 2006 2:23:00 PM

How about a 32 core chip - 16 dedicated to "CPU" processes, 8 to Physics, 8 to "GPU".

It all becomes more likely as the number of cores on the die go up. We're already seeing engineering samples of 4 core products. How long before 8 and 16? 1 to 2 years at most? At the same time most software can barely utilize 2 cores, and it'll take years until that changes. Even then, most daily activities don't need more than 2 cores - It's only once you start gaming, video rendering or doing other serious number crunching that we're going to need the extra horsepower.

Both Intel and AMD have been talking about multi-core processing with many non-specific taskable core on each die. Think Sun or Cell and being able to specify what cores should do.
July 24, 2006 2:25:28 PM

Thanks for the reply and the links.

I think I understand how it can be benefisial to work together on a longterm strategy, but coulden't they have done that without mergering.

Is there nothing in the manufacturing process that can be shared. If AMD discovers how to do 45nm, can ATI use that as well?
July 24, 2006 2:31:00 PM

Quote:
Is there some part of the arcitecture that is common between graphic cards and processors?

GPUs are starting to look more and more like CPUs.
HTX would allow direct low level access to the graphics card (much like the CPU). No more stupid drivers.

Btw, writing Radeon assembly language would be cool :D 
July 24, 2006 2:34:26 PM

Quote:
AMD lost a customer, from this point forward it is intel.


bit juvenile, but whatever floats your boat
To answer the original question,

Yes they probably can use the same processes on them.
GPU -vs- CPU is very different architectures, but if the GPU is designed to be built using AMD fab 36 and the new one in New York, those fabs are able to produce GPU's, which they might end up doing we don't know yet.
And not much cost saving from the deal, just double the profits, or one would think, time will tell us that one

I see nothing but good things from this. Can you say GPU Hypertransport. For example dual GPU PCBs (like the nVidia cards), or HT for Crossfire! And don't forget with this acquisition AMD just may have found a solution to develop PPU's, GPU's and the like for the 4x4 solution to fill the other 2 slots, the CPU's don't use.

Also AMD said they don't plan on downsizing ATi at all if they do it'll be tiny, so basically ATi remains ATi they just gain access to what AMD can offer, as well as offloading some of there products to AMD Fabs which will save them money.

Lots of benefits here, i'm excited to see what they can do together.

The real question is whats nVidia gonna do?
July 24, 2006 2:43:34 PM

Remember AMD's 4x4 motherboard solution? Maybe, ATI will make a GPU for the second socket. Maybe even a dual-core GPU to make it a Crossfire solution on the socket. Make it all 65n, save money, space (no more card), energy. Give it time and the world will see what the merger has to offer in terms of products/performance.
July 24, 2006 2:47:36 PM

Quote:
Maybe, ATI will make a GPU for the second socket.

Graphics cards will stay in a slot form. HTX will replace PCIe (at least on Ati chipsets) as the graphics card slot.
July 24, 2006 2:57:25 PM

just came to me as i was reading the other ji-billion AMD/ATi threads:

ATi introduces cHT(Hypertransport used in 4x4) Chipset, instead of using the PCI, or PCI-e bus to communicate between CPU and add-on cards. The Chipset utilizes the cHT to to communicate. I would especially love to see this for the GPU side of the PCI-e bus, as this could allow for much better performance out of the GPU, and it would free up the bandwidth to allow PCI-e slots replace PCI for the mundane tasks such as Audio, Network cards, and the Ageia card. Allows them to be moved to the much faster much bigger PCI-e bus where you can actually have all of them plugged in and not lose any performance.

Here's to hoping
July 24, 2006 3:12:23 PM

By producing a better high end AMD/Crossfire platforms?
July 24, 2006 3:15:47 PM

Quote:
128 viewers and not one answer.

Was this a bad thread or are the questions just hard to answer?


Somebody is bored sitting for a chitcaht! If you had looked around there are a dozen of threads about this, labalalalbaba.....

,,
July 24, 2006 3:24:10 PM

Quote:
128 viewers and not one answer.

Was this a bad thread or are the questions just hard to answer?


Somebody is bored sitting for a chitcaht! If you had looked around there are a dozen of threads about this, labalalalbaba.....

,,

I guess that is what happens when interesting news come out.

At least the fanboys have stayed away from this thread so far.
July 24, 2006 3:35:23 PM

You know, when mergers and things like this happen, a lot of people jump on it like it is a bad thing, spelling out doom and gloom for all companies involved. I think that this could actually be a good thing because now Intel will really have some serious competition. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple down sides to the equation, but in the end, the integration will prove beneficial to both the company and the consumers. Oh and for the record, I think Conroe is gonna be fantastic, so I am simply an unbiased observer who tries to look at things optimistically. And if it don't work out in the end, I'll be the first to say so. Tar and feather the fanboys! :wink:
July 24, 2006 4:12:28 PM

Personaly I think this is a big aquisition for AMD. They just gobbled up the #2 graphics card company, thats nuts, although concievable. At some point computers will become 1 big ass piece of silicon, and I think AMD is trying to take the first steps now to avoid problems later. They aren't looking for a quick turn around in terms of profit but rather gobbling them up now in turn for a long range plan.

Someone mentioned why should they merge? Because if they remain seperate ATI could go down a path that AMD isn't comfratable with, or doesn't want to go. So, by aquiring them now, in the short run they have a chipset maker to mesh with the turion platform and also a GPU specialist for long term innovation.

This could bring 65nm GPUs to market slightly faster than anticipated. It is definately a risky business decision but those are also the best kind and the seeds of evolution shall creep out, the only question is when.

Don't be judgemental and call them Intel, it will all work out, hopefully. Business is business and just beacuse one person leaves they may gain 4 in the mobile market. Take it with a grain of salt and lets see how it plays out over the next 12-24 months and then reevaluate.

Calm people, this isn't WW3 about to happen....
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July 24, 2006 4:12:59 PM

Quote:

If not. How will this merger save any costs?


It beats giving company profit to he government in the form of taxes and it makes for a great tax write off. And it pisses off the guys in Taiwan. In Taipei the Ming Rulers are going, 'what the ef...? Put down that sushi and Get Nvidia on the phone!"
July 24, 2006 5:02:58 PM

Personally I'm skeptical.

Some of the older AMD chipsets were not bad, although they never kept them updated, and left things too long before releasing new ones.

ATi's chipsets all seem to be 'value' style ones aimed at the lower end of the market.

'AMD-Ti' have said they expect Intel to eventually stop buying ATi's chipsets. In the same way I'd expect not to see a sequel to the nForce 500 series for AMD CPUs now. nVidia undeniably make the best and most popular chipsets for AMD cpus right now. ATi have a *hell* of a lot of work to do on their chipsets to catch up.

It wouldnt surpise me to see nVidia cosying up to Intel slightly, maybe licensing them SLi for integration into Intel chipsets, while it seems unlikely to me that ATi will now extend their current crossfire license with Intel.

I think the combination of an intel 985 chipset with SLi support, an nForce 6 intel edition with no corresponding AMD solution, and Core 2 Duo, will be a winning combination for Intel/nVidia, and I worry about what this will do to AMD in the long term.

This consolidation in the end will result in less choice for the user imho, as eventually I believe that GPU choice will be inexorably linked with CPU choice.

Dont get me wrong, If the AMD-ATi solution happens to be really cool I'll be the first to jump ship, just as I jumped from AMD to an Intel Pentium D 805 recently (with a view to changing to Core 2 Duo sometime soon, now that I have a mobo, ram etc that supports it), and how I changed to an ATi card after the Geforce FX sham. Although the 7900 GT is now tempting me back :) 
July 24, 2006 5:15:28 PM

The CF Xpress 3200 chipset pretty much trumps the nForce 4 Sli. Consider this, in an OCing competition at Bejieng university (ok i can't spell) the winner was the DFI Lanparty UT CFX3200 not the LP UT Expert (nvidia based). Now prior to the 3200, yes Nvidia has a clear advantage over ATI, but that has all but gone away with the 3200 chipset. I personaly use the 3200 chipset and it gives me even more ways to F*** my computer up then the LP UT Expert did (I have had both). The 3200 is more work to get it running right but straight up its a better board.

Don't slam ATi so quickly, they have had hard times, so has AMD. Everybody has a dark period, what matters is how quickly you come back to the light.

Come to the light side, we have cookies!
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July 24, 2006 5:40:02 PM

Quote:
Personally I'm skeptical.

nVidia undeniably make the best and most popular chipsets for AMD cpus right now. ATi have a *hell* of a lot of work to do on their chipsets to catch up.



AMD will no loger be an Nvidia slave. If you look at it like that, it makes sense for AMD to spend money in this manner. I look for ATI video cards to come out smokin' in a couple of years. Of course Intel will spend so much money with Nvidia, the company will probably own Canada and by then. At least Detroit. We stopped claiming Detroit as part of the republic when Kid Rock lost control of Pam.

I just bought a new x1800xt this morning. I hope I am doing my part to save Canada. And get Pam back.
July 24, 2006 5:42:26 PM

Amd does so much work with nvidia suprised that they did not try to buy them, but they are wrth more and would not sell i think. all the amd mobos with nvdia chipsets and sli wonder why they did this. Hopefully Ati still has a leg to stand on and hopefully they stay in Canada eh.
July 24, 2006 5:46:10 PM

Quote:
Amd does so much work with nvidia suprised that they did not try to buy them, but they are wrth more and would not sell i think. all the amd mobos with nvdia chipsets and sli wonder why they did this. Hopefully Ati still has a leg to stand on and hopefully they stay in Canada eh.


They have my vote. My CFX3200 board has lasted longer than my NForce Sli mobo which popped a capacitor a few months ago, an ugly mess to diagnose. I'm just trying to help people open their minds to the idea that this merger might help the market not hurt it. It could go either way.

As to your analogy, the main diffrence between Intel and the AMD-ATI merger is that ATI puts out discrete graphics cards which Intel does not. Intel does strictly integrated graphics from what I know, but otherwise its a very appropriate analogy, imo.
July 24, 2006 6:33:34 PM

Just a few thoughts:

What I'd hope to see out of it is a GPU that decreases its power consumption. Hopefully AMD can apply the same ideas to teh GPU space and save some wattage. Its annoying to see GPU's skyrocketing power consumption... kind of starts to remind me of prescott levels.

Plus I think it makes sense for AMD to acquire Ati. Their processor lineup is going to take a beating and lost sales because of conroe, so they need another 'product line' to bring in some $.
Ati looks like its on the losing side since its doubtful Intel will renew their license (besides, it didn't look good anyways since Intel had ramped up their production so they wouldn't have to buy as many chipsets from Ati).

Shrug, I guess AMD made an offer Ati couldn't refuse.
July 24, 2006 7:10:44 PM

AMD bought engineers and a platform that’s it... with 4x4 rumored to support Graphics chips I can only see where AMD is going to take this...
July 24, 2006 8:07:53 PM

I have always used an ATI/AMD config with all 7 of my builds.
Its great to know that over all of the years they have finally merged.
July 24, 2006 8:12:07 PM

will this is kind of good news. gives us a run for our money.
all in wonder x1900 + 3800+ windsor = im all happy. but gotta wait til the video card goes on sale.

and both companies have a very great customer service department ( for me at least)
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July 24, 2006 9:44:15 PM

This should help AMD concerning chipsets. AMD has always made it a point to rely on others to develop chipsets for their motherboards. AMD has released their own chipsets, but that was mainly to get their CPUs onto motherboards for distribution. Once other companies stepped in like VIA, nVidia, and SiS, AMD backed off on their own chipset production.

I think someone stated this acquistion no longer makes them "a slave to chipset makers." That's quite true, but that was AMD's own doing in trying to cut down on costs. While I think aquiring the ATI to make chipset for AMD is great, I'm not that thrilled about the GPU division being acquired. For one thing, it does limit choices for people when they decide to build a PC.

The licensing of Crossfire technology for Intel chipsets has been rescinded. nVidia's decision to form a closer alliance with Intel. Both situations doesn't really seem to give the consumer the best selection of choices. In the worse case scenario, Crossfire technology will only be for those people owning AMD CPUs, while SLI will only be for those pople owning Intel CPUs. Not much of a wide range of choices for the gaming enthusiast who wants to build a premium gaming machine with the best components.

As an example in this worse case scenarios, what happens if AMD produces a hypethetical killer CPU, but their next generation Crossfire Technology sucks compared to nVidia's SLI next generation solution? You'll have an awesome CPU, but the GPU will drag you down. The opposite would be true for Intel; a hypethetical crappy next generation CPU (compared to AMD's) that is paired with an awesome nVidia SLI solution.

Only time will tell how well this merge will be. It is entirely possible that the production of both CPUs and GPUs can make AMD somewhat of a lumbering giant with two primary products to develop. On the one hand will be the CPU that takes lots of money for research and production, but have a relatively long life cycle. On the other hand is the GPU side of the business that AMD will also need a lot of money to research and produce the next generation GPUs. But GPUs have a relatively short lifespan. Many people expect a "refresh" every 6 - 9 month, then an entirely new GPU architecture, again, every 6 - 9 months. In between the CPU and GPU will be the chipsets; the business they really should have focused on years ago, not now.

I would prefer if AMD were to spinoff the GPU side of ATI in the future, and retain the chipset side for themselves. Nothing like a CPU production company that has the important bases covered (CPUs & chipsets) and be nimble enough to change to market demands. They could also develop their own IGPs as well for the not so enthusiastic gamers market.

These are just my initial thoughts. There are plenty of things to think about and consider before I really am able to form a real good opinion on this issue.
July 24, 2006 10:05:50 PM

Quote:
Will the company be able to use the same manufacturing process for both processors and graphics cards? Will we see 65nm at the same time for graphics and processors?

Is there some part of the arcitecture that is common between graphic cards and processors?

If not. How will this merger save any costs?


The manufacturing process is different. IBM had a difficult time when they first tried manufacturing gpus for Nvidia. I think ATI and AMD will need a period of time to form a symbiotic relationship - AMD engineers will need to learn what ATI tech requires, and ATI engineers will learn what AMD can fab. There will be some growing pains, but they are surmountable.

I think the biggest problem in both these companies is that neither one knows how to market their product. They've both always had the technology (Well at least with k7 & up on the AMD side), but both companies seem to rely more on word-of-mouth by enthusiasts.

Intel and Nvidia, on the other hand, are masters of marketing and branding. I think more people (non-enthusiasts) think of AMD as "compatible with Intel" rather than as a progressive company.
Same with Nvidia. I'll bet if you surveyed the average people, more would have heard of SLI than Crossfire.

I hope AMD/ATI recognize this weakness and enlist some outside marketing help.
July 24, 2006 10:23:20 PM

i think amd would have benifited more if it had aqquired nvidia. just my 2 cents!
July 24, 2006 10:25:16 PM

Quote:
How about a 32 core chip - 16 dedicated to "CPU" processes, 8 to Physics, 8 to "GPU".

It all becomes more likely as the number of cores on the die go up. We're already seeing engineering samples of 4 core products. How long before 8 and 16? 1 to 2 years at most? At the same time most software can barely utilize 2 cores, and it'll take years until that changes. Even then, most daily activities don't need more than 2 cores - It's only once you start gaming, video rendering or doing other serious number crunching that we're going to need the extra horsepower.

Both Intel and AMD have been talking about multi-core processing with many non-specific taskable core on each die. Think Sun or Cell and being able to specify what cores should do.


dude, cores are like pipelines. You got logical ones, physical ones. you only need 1 physics core since it is utterly useless... how about a 32 core cpu where whatever gets whatever? i think that is reasonable, i mean, there are game sand there are games. some of these games are video intensive and others are cpu intensive. i reiterate: cores are like pipelines (more elocuently "shaders") since companies cant go faster they go wider (kinda like a river). yep htats it.
July 24, 2006 10:36:21 PM

I randomly chose a name to reply to cause i didnt want to fnd a post of the author.

AMD and Ati is prolly a sick blow to both intel and nvidia. I mean: imagine a platform where the GPU and CPU co esxist, potentially sharin video ram effortlessly and vice versa. with Ati, AMD could develop not only amazing video cpu bridges/interfaces but also platform specific chipsets that up until now only intel had. Im a gamer, and if AMD and Ati can pull off a good enough gamer platform, which they prolly will, im buying. Conroe might have won this round, but with this merger it looks like AMD might have almost just taken the gaming crown... sure theyve got to make the platform first. I like AMD, and im prolly gonna buy AMD next if the prices they set stay..... oh and yeah, dudes, AMD is prolly going to develop Ati's GPU n such a way that they will be built on the 65nm process soon enough (finally, a video card that doest explode with stock clocks/cooling) even if they only put it into the Ati flagships. I suppose AMD will prolly also start to expand their Fabs even further to acomodate the new addition to the family.
July 24, 2006 11:26:38 PM

Personally I am not excited at all... You see we have had a lot of mergers in the graphics industry with many promises about revolutionary features, but not one of them succeded.

1. Rendition+Micron... How many of us remember the advantages advertised of having a foundry in house and then embedded-RAM that allowed for 1Mb memory connections on chip? Rendition vanished slowely after the acquisition.

2. Intel themselves bought Chips and Technologies and tried to make a Processor with graphics that worked at 1GHz but have since failed and cancelled the processor. Not only that, they also failed miserably in their attempts to make a graphics chip of their own.

3. Via bought S3 Graphics and tried many times to launch a chip... They have finally made it, after almost 5 years.

Now I really don't want to sound pessimistic, but there is a reason behind all these failures: Lose focus! As interesting and exciting new ideas may be, if you invest everything there then you are gampling... I really hope they know what they are doing!
July 24, 2006 11:48:17 PM

Quote:
Now I really don't want to sound pessimistic, but there is a reason behind all these failures: Lose focus! As interesting and exciting new ideas may be, if you invest everything there then you are gampling... I really hope they know what they are doing!


I think AMD is smart enough to let ATI do its own thing. Sure, they will combine techologies for an IGP (by combine, I mean let ATI do it :p  ), and they will collaborate in order to fab, but AMD should know its limits by now. The problem with the mergers you listed, were that the absorbing company tried to dictate the other with the result of, as you say, they lost focus.

I doubt that on the graphic card end, AMD will even change ATI's name on the boxes. You can't risk a newbie customer seeing AMD's name on a x1900xt, and thinking it will only work on an AMD system. (This has been going on for years - Magnavox once made a game system, and showed people playing it on a Magnavox TV in their advertising - The whole line failed because people thought you could only use it on a Magnavox TV.)

Technology is advancing, but people aren't getting any smarter. :lol: 

AMD has put their whole company on the line with this. If they lose focus, they will destroy ATI too.
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