From The Desk Of Andrew Ku And Chris Angelini
With 2011 right around the corner, an even more influential shootout is about to happen, as AMD and Intel both bring new weapons to the front line in the form of CPU/GPU hybrids. However, our first survey back in August was a bit one-sided, because it only sought out the voice of video card makers. Hybrids make this a topic for two industries. What about the motherboard guys?
So, while we were putting the call out to experts in the graphics business, we were also making the rounds on the motherboard side. Though, we want to point out that we have other reasons for wanting a second opinion. If you look at the company structure for the tier-one and -two motherboard manufacturers, those companies selling motherboards and graphic cards have completely separate divisions. And while they do collaborate on some marketing and technical aspects, they usually are left to their own devices and operate independently of one another. After all, the technical people in the motherboard division have different goals and agendas. The worries and problems on one side don’t translate well to the other. What does the motherboard team care if their GPU-obsessed colleagues can’t find the right balance of performance to heat?
We think it is important to get the whole story. That is what a survey should be about. There is nothing wrong if the responses turn out the same. A universal answer means there is a universal opinion. However, for those people who actually dig a little deeper, it becomes apparent that there is a little more “meat on the bones.” Similar answers are often similar for different reasons, and it is the reasoning we find important. “Yes” and “No” answers don’t sate our appetite, simply because there is no context for understanding. This is why we will always try and solicit additional comments on all of our questions.
We should make clear these are not marketing representatives sent to evangelize certain agendas. If they are, they’re pulling double duty as product managers. The primary duty of public relations is to get good press, and sometimes it is hard to get those folks out of that mode without having to resort to alcohol (Chris and I are both in agreement that it would probably be unwise to do so, anyway).
We specifically chose to talk to people in charge of the technical aspect of their company’s motherboard business. Depending on the organization, we carefully selected GMs, VPs, heads of departments, and R&D engineers. It is important to note that these are people from headquarters, meaning they bring us their ideas from a global perspective.
There were no barriers in our quest. If we needed to use another language to find the people we wanted, we used it (that’s the beauty of working for a global media company). Distance did not deter us, and if you saw our international phone bill, you’d understand the time we dedicated to this project. No stone was left unturned to find the people we needed. To our participants out there, we extend our most gracious thanks and sincerest apologies for the constant pestering.
Ultimately, we see this as a way to bring a better sense of industry dialog, answer a lot of your questions, end a lot of speculation, and provide insights on current and upcoming industry trends.