Yesterday afternoon, we spent a little while talking with AMD's Vice President of Advanced Marketing, Pat Moorhead, about AMD's "platformization" initiative and that company's thoughts about the future of graphics processors. Moorhead's answers were especially interesting in light of comments made by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at Nvidia's financial analyst day presentation last week, where he predicted a future in which the role of the GPU is much more significant than today.
Interestingly, AMD largely concurs with Nvidia's emphasis on PC balance. "Fundamentally, we agree," Moorhead stated. "We agree that optimizing for the visual experience is one of those areas that's important." According to Moorhead, AMD's recognition of the importance of graphics was one of the driving factors behind the ATI acquisition, and today AMD is "the only company that can deliver a balanced CPU, GPU, and chipset and benefit from it."
Despite AMD's interest in consoles, with AMD GPUs powering both the Xbox 360 and the Wii, Moorhead also thinks PC gaming is far from dying. Figures from Microsoft and the NPD Group suggest 70-80% of PC users play games on their machines, he explained, adding that PCs need to improve to accommodate those users. To help move things along, he told us, AMD provides PC makers with sample configurations that balance CPU and GPU performance.
We'll make our complete interview with Moorhead available exclusively in the fifth episode of the TR Podcast. Tune in on Saturday to hear Moorhead elaborate on the topic of balanced PCs and also discuss the future of mobile devices, what AMD thinks about the increasing popularity of handheld and ultra-mobile devices, and the possibility of GPUs that plug into CPU sockets.