Driver Heaven: Will the merger
limit customer choice?
At the moment we can get Crossfire for AMD (CF3200) and Intel
(I975)... Many people fear that AMD will "force" them
into buying AMD processors if they want to run ATI graphics
Jon Carvill: This merger is
about growth, innovation and choice for our customers. AMD is
committed to an approach of delivering open platforms where
customers can choose the right solution to meet their unique
needs. We’re also committed to delivering market-leading
products that provide the highest levels of performance, power
efficiency and scalability. As part of that model we have to
give customers the ability to choose – whether that be
a unified platform or best-of-breed solution.
Driver Heaven: The merger
will obviously have an impact on future chipset, graphics and
CPU development ...do you have any initial feelings on how the
merger will affect ATI's current work on game physics via a
Jon Carvill: This merger has
no impact on ATI’s current activities for GPU physics.
With open innovation platforms like “Torrenza” we
have a very complimentary approach to enable specialized media
processing within our architecture.
Driver Heaven: Is the long
term strategy to operate as one company or two? For example,
will gfx still continue to be designed in ATI's existing facilities
and CPU's on AMD's or should we expect to see a merging of engineers/designers
where everyone provides expertise on forthcoming products?
Jon Carvill: The merged company
will operate as AMD once the transaction close. ATI will continue
to manufacture its graphics processors with TSMC and UMC. AMD
is very comfortable with a hybrid approach to manufacturing
as evidenced by our recent success in ramping microprocessor
production at Chartered Semiconductor. Certainly, we anticipate
that this merger will present new and exciting ways for our
engineers to collaborate in areas like mobile, commercial, digital
media and emerging markets.
Driver Heaven: CPU/GPU convergence:
do you see this as a necessity?
- If so, do you see budget GPUs embedded into CPUs first, with
Jon Carvill: The market for
both discrete and integrated graphics continues to be strong
and complimentary to one another. When you look at markets like
mobile and commercial you see increased benefits in highly integrated
CPU and GPU platforms to deliver the best performance-per-watt
proposition. In the enthusiast market it’s a much different
approach with the focus on breakneck performance and upgrade
Driver Heaven: Is the graphic
card as we know it nearing its end?
Jon Carvill: We believe discrete
graphics continues to remain a strong and viable market. We
expect GPU innovation to continue moving forward and deliver
new levels of performance, immersion and realism on PC and consumer
Driver Heaven: - Is ATI going
to retain its logos/product names for future products?
Jon Carvill: It would premature
to speculate on this right now. Once the transaction closes
in Q4 2006 we should have more to tell you about the branding
Driver Heaven: - Are any roadmaps
of both companies in the short term future affected by this
Jon Carvill: In the short
term we expect no changes in the roadmaps for either company.
In 2007, we will begin to deliver new and open customer-centric
platforms targeted at key market segments.
Driver Heaven: Will the merger
impact the expected delivery schedule/time to market of the
Jon Carvill: You would have
to ask a representative from ATI on the time-to-market for R600.
It’s our intent for this merger not to have any adverse
impact on product delivery for either company.
Driver Heaven: - Where do
you see AMD/ATI gaining strength by this deal? Any potential
losses by it?
Jon Carvill: We plan to promote
our complementary business strengths, including industry-leading
products, technologies, manufacturing leadership, geographic
strengths, and customer and partner base. In the near term,
2007, we should be able to deliver new customer-centric, open
platforms for key market segments faster than either company
could have done alone. Today we both have “go-to-market”
strategies. By putting them together, because we have such complementary
strengths, we believe we will create an “accelerate-to-market”
strategy to allow us to deliver in 2007 products that will bring
very specific value to customers in key segments like commercial
and mobile markets. We will aim to transform processing technology
with general-purpose, media-centric, data-centric and graphic-centric
open platforms, to re-engineer the future, in 2008 and beyond.