ATI acquisition might be key to AMD's future success

ATI acquisition might be key to AMD's future success

Summary: Without a doubt, 2007 was a bad year for AMD. A price war with Intel. The acquisition of ATi. Chip delays. Chip bugs. Any one of these would have been bad, but all of these combined meant that AMD had a really tough year. But 2008 could be a much better year for AMD.

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Without a doubt, 2007 was a bad year for AMD.  A price war with Intel, the acquisition of ATi, chip delays, and chip bugs.  Any one of these would have been bad, but all of these combined meant that AMD had a really tough year.  But 2008 could be a much better year for AMD.

Yesterday AMD announced yet another quarterly loss - now the fifth is succession.  On top of that, revenues were virtually unchanged from a year ago.  But quad core sales and the acquisition of ATi could represent a turning point for the company in 2008.  While picking up ATi has without a doubt been an expensive move for the Sunnyvale company, I also see it as being key to its future success.

Having ATi close at hand means that AMD can develop platform solutions such as the Spider where the silicon in the CPU is supported by the silicon in the GPU.  While Intel has some excellent CPU silicon on offer, the company would have a much harder time coming up with a platform.  Also, buying ATi meant that AMD could pursue projects such as Fusion - a CPU and a GPU on the same piece of silicon. 

The thing that AMD needs to be mindful of during 2008 is delays.  You can have the best products in the world, but if they're not available then they're not going to do the company any good.

Then there's the server market.  This is a crucial market for AMD and one that's profitable.  Revised quad core Opterons are now needed quickly so the company can regain traction. 

Thoughts?

Topics: Networking, Banking, Hardware, Processors

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15 comments
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  • Turning point yes, but which direction?

    So far, they have shown little to say things will get better.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Usually, the lever turns down when flushing the toilet...

      (yoiks...)
      HypnoToad72
  • RE: ATI acquisition might be key to AMD's future success

    I hope AMD can have a good turn around. We need two CPU manufactures on equal ground or at least very close. IT brings out the best products.
    bolo73
  • RE: ATI acquisition might be key to AMD's future success

    I hhave worked with ATI, Nvidia And others.
    I was an interface withem all as a software engineer. AMD has killed ATI. It was the best vidio card maded and the best support.

    AMD has run off a lot of their customers and slowed development. Combining cpu with video will kill the real market for video cards. Look at Intel! They accquire a third rate company and try combine both. It has cause more problems than they will admit.

    This will not help the market. The market wants high quality with fast action.

    Jesse F. Webb
    Dosrunner
    • former customer

      until they provide vista drivers for the all-in-wonder video cards ATI and AMD have both lost me as a customer
      john-whorfin
      • Buying ATi was definitely a mistake on AMD's part,

        but processor-wise, where did AMD fail? For the longest time, they kept themselves as more than a viable competitor.

        Intel made one heck of a comeback.

        I don't see AMD dying anytime soon, but AMD will need to strike back with a strong winner next time 'round.

        It comes and goes in cycles, this processor race...
        HypnoToad72
      • Success will come

        You know, when people complain about Vista drivers, it makes me sick. After reading this post I went to AMD, chose Vista drivers (32- and 64-bit), All-in-Wonder, and they had ten models with drivers including 9700 PRO and 9600 models.

        What are you talking about?

        I think people should at least CHECK for drivers before saying there aren't any.

        And ATi has had wacky drivers forever - you take your chances upgrading Catalyst once a year. Running Vista has nothing to do with it. I have run a Radeon in my old XP box (eMachines) for years, and have had to roll back the drivers at least twice.

        No matter, I have been extremely pleased with performance AND price point.
        WookieFan
        • so where are the tv capture drivers???????????

          It says right on the website they don not have them.
          Note: ATI All-in-Wonder? boards operate with AMD's Windows Vista ready display and capture drivers under the Windows Vista operating system. However, the windows Vista Media Center application does not support TV/Capture functionality provided by the ATI All-in-Wonder? TV/Capture functionality is qualified to function with Snaptream's BeyondTV 4.6 for Windows Vista. Other third party solutions (such as Arcsoft's Total Media 3) may support TV/Capture with the ATI All-in-Wonder?, but these applications have not been fully tested by AMD.

          For over a year they have refused to come forth with software to support the main reason for having an all-in-wonder card. If you have a link to software frm ATI that supports TV/Capture on the all-in-wonder card under Vista, bring it on.
          john-whorfin
  • Except I ditched ATi after their badly made Radeon 9700...

    the one with the oversized bezel, leaving as gap between heatsink and GPU - plopping in extra thermal compound to "solve" the problem was stupid too.

    Never mind ATi's long history of poor drivers and non-existent Linux support (the drivers exist, but going by their own directions, the net quality was fairly much crap too.)

    Intel + nVidia -- Seems to be the future until AMD can put the Phenom back to 9600; if the number is supposed to compete with Intel's numbering system, the Phenom 9600 should be called the Notaphenomafterall 5600 because it's much slower than Intel's Q6600!
    HypnoToad72
    • Poor drivers?

      I haven't had a problem with ATI's drivers for a long time. I know people who have had numerous problems with nVidia's drivers on Vista, but ATI's drivers have been exceptional. Nobody provides Linux drivers; they're made by third-parties.
      dracolich_prgrm
      • Check the AMD website, please

        There are several ATi drivers available for Linux, provided by AMD. Please just drop by the site before saying there aren't any - for the following OSs:

        Vista (32 & 64 bit)
        XP (32 & 64 bit)
        2000 (Pro)
        ME/98 (wow, there's actually a significant demand?)

        Mac OSX
        10.4
        10.3
        10.2

        Linux (32 bit & 64 bit)

        We're all partcipating in a blog, so I am sure we can all find driver downloads on parent-company websites?
        WookieFan
        • And NVidia's, Intel's, Matrox

          As all the graphics companies are providing drivers one way or another. AMD have ramped up both in their their internal development and in support for open support development to reflect the commitment Intel was already displaying. Nvidia has provided drivers for ~5 years. Matrox for a while too.

          There are now few companies not providing drivers; and of those who don't some do it knowing their hardware is already well-supported in Linux.
          putt1ck
        • no TV/Capture drivers for All-In-Wonder cards for Vista

          It says right on the website they don not have them.
          Note: ATI All-in-Wonder? boards operate with AMD's Windows Vista ready display and capture drivers under the Windows Vista operating system. However, the windows Vista Media Center application does not support TV/Capture functionality provided by the ATI All-in-Wonder? TV/Capture functionality is qualified to function with Snaptream's BeyondTV 4.6 for Windows Vista. Other third party solutions (such as Arcsoft's Total Media 3) may support TV/Capture with the ATI All-in-Wonder?, but these applications have not been fully tested by AMD.

          For over a year they have refused to come forth with software to support the main reason for having an all-in-wonder card. If you have a link to software frm ATI that supports TV/Capture on the all-in-wonder card under Vista, bring it on.
          john-whorfin
          • Who uses vista?

            Seriously now... who in their right mind would use an all-in-wonder card with Vista. noobs. As a media center PC, vista is a joke.
            compcentral2003
  • Execution is Key

    As you point out, the problems this year arose from poor execution. Good concepts and good plans are great, but they must be properly executed. Perhaps 2008 with be the year for proper execution. Oh yes, you mention "Fusion" only in passing. That might be the next big "home run".
    Sagax-