AMD Hopes ATI Acquisition Will Juice Up Future Chips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance
04:15 PM

AMD Hopes ATI Acquisition Will Juice Up Future Chips

ATI acquisition is designed to enable AMD to expand its position in commercial desktop and mobile computing applications.

Short-term competitive pressure from Intel, which recently overhauled its processor portfolio, may explain why Advanced Micro Devices pulled the trigger on its largest acquisition ever. But how well AMD can integrate ATI Technologies' offerings into its future processors will determine if AMD overpaid by shelling out $5.4 billion in mostly cash to buy the graphics chip specialist last week.

The acquisition is designed to enable AMD to expand in commercial desktop and mobile computing applications, two areas where it has seen the least market penetration.

The transition to smaller manufacturing process geometries about every two years provides chipmakers with increased "transistor budgets"--the ability to place more processing elements, such as the graphics capabilities of ATI, within a specific chip size. Most recently, that extra space was taken up by two processing cores within a single chip die. Later this year, Intel will shift to designs that have four cores in a single processor; AMD plans to introduce its first quad-core processor next year.

Plan For ATI
ATI Strengths Graphics, multimedia chipsets, consumer electronics
2007 Plan Sell platforms that include all AMD and ATI technologies
2008 Plan Integrate AMD general-purpose processors and ATI graphics engines to meet specific media, data, and graphic requirements
When AMD takes the next step from a 65-nanometer manufacturing process in 2007 to 45 nanometers in late 2008 or in 2009, it can consider a move to eight cores in a single chip. Or it may find greater value by integrating the graphics capabilities it purchased from ATI. "That would be a terrible time to find out you've got the available transistors but not the intellectual property," says Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64. "Intel already has graphics capabilities. ATI is an insurance policy for AMD's long-term intellectual property requirements."

Hector Ruiz, chairman and chief executive of AMD, said during a teleconference that integration of technologies like ATI offers onto one chip is "inevitable but also advantageous."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

New Storage Trends Promise to Help Enterprises Handle a Data Avalanche
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/1/2021
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
How to Submit a Column to InformationWeek
InformationWeek Staff 4/9/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll