Rumor: AMD might retire the ATI brand

In the past four years or so since its purchase of ATI, AMD has safely conserved the ATI brand and logo. Is that about to change? The guys at say they've learned from "an anonymous Chinese source" that AMD intends to retire the ATI logo and sell graphics products under its own name.

The Google-translated article is a little tough to wade through, but from what I understand, it alleges that the launch of Fusion products—microprocessor-and-graphics chimeras like Ontario and Llano—will make it too difficult for AMD to keep juggling the two different brands. The story says the branding change will take place toward the end of this year.

Fittingly, late 2010 should be about the time we see AMD's first Ontario chips, which will bring together a new low-power microprocessor architecture (code-named Bobcat) and DirectX 11 graphics onto 40-nm silicon manufactured by TSMC. If's super-secret Chinese source is right, the chip's branding could be all-AMD.

Selling Ontario CPUs under a single brand would probably make things easier for customers, although on the other side of the coin, AMD would no longer be able to capitalize on ATI's brand recognition. Of course, ATI doesn't even correspond to a division inside AMD anymore. The chipmaker merged its CPU and GPU businesses in a 2009 shakeup.

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