AMD’s purchase of ATI closes, and Fusion begins

It’s done. AMD just sent out the press release:

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. – Oct. 25, 2006 – AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the
completion of its approximately $5.4 billion acquisition of ATI
Technologies Inc. Combining the complementary strengths of the two
technology leaders, the new AMD opens for business as a processing
powerhouse committed to driving innovation, choice and growth in the
technology industry. With approximately 15,000 employees, the company
merges AMD’s technology leadership in microprocessors together with
ATI’s leadership in graphics, chipsets and consumer electronics.
“Today marks a historic day for our employees, our partners and our
customers as we officially welcome ATI into the AMD family,” said AMD
Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz. “On day one, we are delivering a winning
set of complementary technologies, igniting a new level of innovation
and continuing to champion choice for the industry. Thanks to the
strength of our talented employees, the new AMD now has a full range of
intellectual property (IP) in microprocessors, graphics, chipsets and
consumer electronics to deliver
open platforms and integrated solutions. In the near term, customers
gain a new level of choice, and in the long term, we believe the
possibilities for innovation are truly limitless.”

The transaction was part stock, part cash, with some of that cash coming via a $2.5 billion loan from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding.

AMD plans to bring its first integrated, Centrino-like platforms to market next year. The press release mentions the Turion and AMD LIVE brands in connection with this effort, as well as consumer electronics devices.


In addition, AMD has announced the code-name “Fusion” to refer to merged CPU-GPU hybrids. I’m leaning heavily on the press release material, but I think the original source is worth seeing in this instance:

AMD plans to create a new class of x86 processor that integrates the
central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) at the
silicon level with a broad set of design initiatives collectively
codenamed “Fusion.” AMD intends to design Fusion processors to provide
step-function increases in performance-per-watt relative to today’s
CPU-only architectures, and to provide the best customer experience in a
world increasingly reliant upon 3D graphics, digital media and
high-performance computing.

With Fusion processors, AMD will continue to promote an open platform
and encourage companies throughout the ecosystem to create innovative
new co-processing solutions aimed at further optimizing specific
workloads. AMD-powered Fusion platforms will continue to fully support
high-end discrete graphics, physics accelerators, and other PCI
Express-based solutions to meet the ever-increasing needs of the most
demanding
enthusiast end-users.

“With the anticipated launch of Windows Vista, robust 3D graphics,
digital media and device convergence are driving the need for greater
performance, graphics capabilities, and battery life,” said Phil Hester,
AMD senior vice president and chief technology officer. “In this
increasingly diverse x86 computing environment, simply adding more CPU
cores to a baseline architecture will not be enough. As x86 scales from
palmtops to petaFLOPS, modular processor designs leveraging both CPU and
GPU compute capabilities will be essential in meeting the requirements
of computing in 2008 and beyond.”

Fusion processors are expected in late 2008/early 2009, and the company
expects to use them within all of the company’s priority computing
categories, including laptops, desktops, workstations and servers, as
well as in consumer electronics and solutions tailored for the unique
needs of emerging markets.

Buckle up, folks. Things are just starting to get interesting.

Comments closed
    • wierdo
    • 13 years ago

    Some more interesting details and slides:

    §[<http://www.behardware.com/news/8429/amd-ati-acquisition-and-fusion.html<]§

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Will AMD+ATi now be referred to as the ‘brown team’ in TR articles??

      • Buub
      • 13 years ago

      I dunno. But sure they have it all over Christmas!

    • kestrel76
    • 13 years ago

    I know – just some humor. In fact, I’d kill for a SOC with just a P-III 1 Ghz alike proc, x1300 gfx, and integrated functions like mem controller and USB. I know it could be done – probably even passively cooled. Would make for a Palm-killer with a 7″ touchscreen LCD. And would absolutely kill all those crappy VIA mini-ITX systems.

      • kestrel76
      • 13 years ago

      Oops, tried to reply to the below.

    • kestrel76
    • 13 years ago

    From the depths of silicon horror….

    This halloweens best thriller yet ….

    *[

      • mesyn191
      • 13 years ago

      Hey, that was a heck of a SoC system for the money for its time, damn shame it didn’t do better.

      Only thing that bugged me about it was that it couldn’t boot regular win98 (I think it couldn’t boot regular win95 either…), you had to have a specialized version instead.

    • wierdo
    • 13 years ago

    Promising stuff… indeed it could make for either a cheap and capable on-die graphic solution or a potential on-die physics processor… amusing.

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    Here is an interesting link direct from AMD/ATI’s website §[<http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/promotions/overdriveCore/index.html<]§ computer with an ATI video card and intel processor somebody already beat me to it oops

      • Freon
      • 13 years ago

      Uh, oops?

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    So no discreet graphic cards anymore when this “Fusion” thing starts? So I cannot just upgrade a single thing anymore. Sounds like a lose lose situation for PC enthusiasts.

      • Buub
      • 13 years ago

      y[

        • Bensam123
        • 13 years ago

        Stick to your motherboard with integrated sound and graphics buub.

          • mesyn191
          • 13 years ago

          Why? What makes mobo mounted graphics/sound superior to putting them on the same package/die as the CPU?

      • mesyn191
      • 13 years ago

      Oh come on, did you even read the article?

      /[

        • d0g_p00p
        • 13 years ago

        I did read it wrong. Little sleep and no coffee yet 🙂

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Alright. Let get some “synergies” rollin’.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Yo yo, Morgan Stanley, hook me up with 2 bill? I be a Senyah for you, I Sweeahg{

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Judgement day for the employees that are going to be cut. Knowing a few friends working in the now-former Markham HQ, I am going to take a moment to remember you guys.

    • RHITee05
    • 13 years ago

    Okay, here’s a scenario for a CPU/GPU combo chip:

    – If you don’t need powerful graphics, you’ve got an all-in-one solution. Cheap, convenient, low-power. Probably’d be great for mini and micro PCs.

    – If you need the graphics horsepower, you install a discrete graphics solution, and the on-board graphics instantly becomes a dedicated physics/floating-point co-processor. It’s on-chip with a really high bandwidth interconnect, so you’re not limited like the current solutions are. It might be like Folding-on-GPU performance, but for all your programs.

    In either case, it’d probably be on 65 nm, so it might be something like X1650-class and add maybe 5 watts or so the CPU power. Sounds like a good deal to me.

      • Buub
      • 13 years ago

      y[<- If you need the graphics horsepower, you install a discrete graphics solution, and the on-board graphics instantly becomes a dedicated physics/floating-point co-processor. It's on-chip with a really high bandwidth interconnect, so you're not limited like the current solutions are. It might be like Folding-on-GPU performance, but for all your programs.<]y This is exactly what I was thinking. Obviously, based on many other comments the companies have made, these cores are intended to be more wide vector-processing cores and not just integrated GPUs. So, AMD is going to be building processors with integrated wide vector-processing cores that can do graphics or physics or whatever else you really want some heavy-duty math processing for. Combine that with a really powerful discrete graphics card and you have some serious processing power.

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    They’re interesting till Intel-ATI does the same and we’re stuck with concurent upgrade paths for both our graphics cards and our processers not to mention being locked to one brand name or the other.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 13 years ago

    Wow,check out that website…it really is AMD/ATI now.
    All the NVidia/AMD combo fanbois must be choking on their anti ATI venom right now lol.

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Not to mention Intel/ATI…*tear*

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    Hopefully the integrated GPU part of all of this makes it harder for computer OEMs to ship computers with craptastic graphics performance. OEMs focus entirely too much on memory and CPU, and don’t put enough emphasis on GPU, which matters far more, in my opinion.

      • Shintai
      • 13 years ago

      I bet this is just the craptastic onboard GFX moved to the CPU. Nothing else.

        • A_Pickle
        • 13 years ago

        I don’t care what it is, but that inspires a rant. One of two things needs to happen, as far as desktop graphics goes:

        1.) OEMs need to focus on selling more computers with discrete graphics cards.

        ~or~

        2.) Integrated graphics chipmakers need to make halfway decent integrated graphics solutions.

        If integrated graphics didn’t suck as badly as they do, then things wouldn’t look too grim as far as 90% of the world’s PC’s. Unfortunately they do, and while ATI has made some headway in that area (X700 core integrated onto a chipset), it won’t be until Intel does that the world will really start to change (being that they’re the biggest graphics supplier).

          • muyuubyou
          • 13 years ago

          My #1 concern is power consumption. GPUs are consuming such ammounts of energy, and generating so much heat, it’s for the best we have “crappy” onboard graphics so we can use them in servers where heat matters more than 3D.

          Probably they can help overall system power consumption and heat with this approach.

          It would also be interesting to have an integrated GPU + a dedicated external GPU, for gaming systems, adding both polygon crunching power and an upgrade path.

          Can also hope for driver-less, BIOS set up graphics. That would rule so much.

          • Flying Fox
          • 13 years ago

          OEMs sell way way more to business than gaming-conscious consumers. So when all is said and done, $$ rules and craptastic GPU wins. And the G965 will continue in that tradition with just enough performance for Aero Glass.

    • dragmor
    • 13 years ago

    It will be interesting to see what happens to office PC’s and laptops over the next couple of years. Especially since you can use the ATI motherboard graphics with an external ATI card for extra monitors. Laptops auto switching graphics cards depending on application would also be nice.

    Does anyone know how much income ATI was getting from the Xbox 360 and Wii? They should help AMD’s bottom line for a while.

    Seems like AMD are getting into MS good books, the 360 GPU and giving chartered the 65nm SOI and process management tech for the next version of the 360 CPU.

      • Proesterchen
      • 13 years ago

      q[

    • Anonymous Gerbll
    • 13 years ago

    Ok, the ATI website now resembles the AMD website.

    §[<http://ati.amd.com/<]§

      • Lord.Blue
      • 13 years ago

      what’s really interesting is this link on the ATI section of the page:
      “Best Gaming PC”* 2006
      Overdrive
      Core2.X-Fire
      Learn more(http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/promotions/overdriveCore/index.html)

      Intel/ATI is not dead. At least, not yet.

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        They just changed the skin, not the content. When the content gets changed I doubt you see something there with best stuff using Intel CPU.

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      They simply change some flash animations and turn the text into green. 😉

      I suspect ATI’s old website will be convert into AMD’s “enthusiast” ring.

    • cass
    • 13 years ago

    Interesting for anyone that wants a one-board, cheap, POC, with weak gpu functions from Dell for an office box.

    At some point could you blame Amd/Ati if there is a genuine Amd check and if it comes back intel the 3d acceleration will only run Open GL?

    I guess it will be interesting for hardware sites… now there are two 800 pound gorillas both shackled to M$ the master.

    Wonder what the interest rate is on a 2.5 billion dollar loan?

      • Baddle Tech
      • 13 years ago

      r[

        • Proesterchen
        • 13 years ago

        I think I read that it costs them ~$50 million per quarter, though I haven’t verified that.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      Don’t forget the embedded market. Appliances, mobile phones, UMPCs, etc.

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      More like 800lb gorilla versus 250lb chimp in a battle of wits. 😉

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