As a platform, yes, the acquisition of ATi for AMD was a good thing. AMD finally can create their own platform (spider), and advertise it.
On the other hand, no, the acquisition of ATi was not a good thing. AMD could've been in a better condition, with a lot more resources if the acquisition didn't take place. Under acquired ATi, the R600 is late, performs sub- par, and consume tremendous amount of energy.
From ATi at the moment, the RV670 looks like a promising product. However, R600 was also seen as a promising product too...
As for AMD, IMO, there's nothing I would call a promising product at the moment, unless they can bump up the frequency on Barcelona and Phenom.
The idea of AMD and ATI being together sounded good in theory for platforms like Spider as yomamafor1 mentioned, but it severely hurt both sides. AMD needs the money they spent on ATI now more than ever, and ATI has a track record of performing worse(financially) than Nvidia; this merger also hurts ATI because it caused product delays in a market that generally moves faster and demands more than the CPU industry. AMD and ATI have only been able to compete in the past with a superior product, but now that they hold the inferior hardware their future doesn't look bright. Both Intel and Nvidia have a much stronger market force than their competitors, and this becomes increasingly apparent as we see Nvidia with record breaking profits, Intel stock up, and AMD losing around $500,000,000 a quarter.
Two things I'd conclude from this:
- the merger was not a success, according to the people with lots of money and fund managers and analysts who drive share prices
- I wouldn't count AMD out and expect bankruptcy, just because they have been through hard times recently
When's the last time either a merger or acquisition occurred without a period of adjustment? From employee fear to a new management structure to new partnerships, it takes time to adjust. At least in my limited experience.
I would say the merger was a success... if it is considered by itself. The timing was just horrid. AMD chose to acquire, and spend loads of cash on ATi, right when Core 2 came out, and performed about 20~40% better than AMD's flagship.
The idea was good in essence, but the timing was just horrible. After that, Hector couldn't let go that market share gained from Intel, therefore the 0.5~0.6 billion loss per quarter.
I for one think AMD made a mistake and so did the ex-CEO of ATI. AMD had to borrow 80% of the money used to aquire ATI and yes they did it right when Intel released Core 2.
Now I am sure AMD will say they didnt know but thats a lie. Intel told AMD about the Core 2 at a conference and AMD just laughed. I bet they are eating their words now.
Intel has been very gungho and has plenty of reason. Same with NVidia. AMDs processors have ben built up yet don't stomp the current Intel and ATIs would have been better I believe but are not at their peak performance.
I am sure the anti-trust lawsuit will go against Intel following the recent decision againt MS(a good reason is they package Windows Media Player). But even then AMD has around $7 Billion in debt they have to pay back by 2012.
I don't prefer AMD products(still like ATI cards though) but would prefer them to be around to help drive innovation and prices down. Kinda like how we need American car companies to keep the foreign ones at bay cuz if they were to go bye bye we would see a halt in improvement and high prices.