AMD surprised everyone last year by getting into the memory business. Radeon-branded DRAM modules have been available online for a while now, and AMD recently released matching RAMDisk software to complement them. Like the modules, which are manufactured by Patriot, VisionTek, and XFX, the RAMDisk software comes from another firm. AMD is just slapping the Radeon name on an existing application from Dataram.
The Radeon brand may soon enter another market, if a report at SemiAccurate turns out to be correct. AMD apparently has the SSD market in its sights next—because, you know, the one thing we need right now is more cookie-cutter SSDs.
If Radeon-branded solid-state drives are indeed on the way, it seems likely that they’ll be built by someone other than AMD using the same controller and NAND combos available to everyone else. Only a handful of SSD makers have truly unique technology, whether it’s custom firmware, proprietary controller silicon, or NAND that’s produced in-house. With AMD already slashing its workforce, I don’t imagine the firm has any engineering resources to devote to building materially different SSDs. The marketing department seems to have plenty of Radeon stickers, though.
With no shortage of competition in the SSD space, AMD faces slim margins and an uphill battle if it intends to become an important player. Of course, the same could be said about the memory market.