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This should be the first in what is a long series of surveys compiled from leading technical people in the graphics business. So, who is participating? Let us put it this way, if a company currently makes video cards, they are more than likely answering our questions. We are drawing from many VGA companies here, some of which are AMD- or Nvidia-exclusive.
Thus far, most of this quarter’s chatter has centered on GeForce GTX 460. Nvidia is back on the attack, but it is still missing a compelling DirectX 11 contender in the lower- to mid-level performance space. Perhaps even more present on everyone’s minds are Intel’s Sandy Bridge design and AMD’s Llano APU. Both companies promise their CPU/GPU hybrids will be “revolutionary,” “game changers,” and a way to “shake up market share.” We’ve all heard these clichés in quarterly earning calls and regular press briefings.
AMD and Intel have been on the marketing circuit, making sure everyone gets a sense that they can deliver integrated graphics at the performance levels demanded by mainstream buyers already sour on today’s mediocre solutions. In our opinion, AMD is more on a marketing warpath compared to Intel, making sure the buzz for Fusion dominates any discussion about the company. It has more to gain here, after all.
From these two topics we drew up four questions:
We are inevitably dealing with sensitive topics here, including industry trade secrets, proprietary company strategies, and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) pertaining to unannounced products. We want to make it clear that we fully support and believe in the purpose of NDAs and the preservation of industry secrets, as well as company strategies. These make our industry stronger, not weaker. For example, if Intel was able to change early in its Tick-Tock cycle to develop a product specifically to address the leaked specifications of an upcoming AMD processor, all of the investment capital from that leaked project becomes a sunk cost.
For this reason, information regarding industry trade secrets and proprietary company strategies is edited out, unless it's already considered common knowledge. It’s interesting information, of course, but it really doesn’t serve any purpose other than journalistic sensationalism. Information relating to specific products is generally withheld, minus a few exceptions. Information regarding specific product releases is edited to the quarter, rather than pointing at specific dates. First amendment and fourth estate aside, we are not bound by any NDAs pertaining to what our sources are telling us (NDAs usually come into play when the press gets samples close to the date of announcement).
Additionally, Chris and I have made the executive decision to withhold all participant names and the names of their respective companies for the following reasons.