Monday, August 30, 2010

ATI is no more: Long live AMD

Since AMD bought over ATI back in 2006, it has incorporated the latter's expertise in graphics technology to boost the performance of its machines.

However, the ATI logo's time is up as the Sunnyvale company has decided to rebrand its upcoming range of graphics cards under the AMD umbrella. Since the experience and know-how remain within the company, we do not expect a major shakeup when it comes to its technological roadmap.

However, the more serious implication is market share. While Intel may have no issues with an ATI video card sitting in its PCs, how would the Santa Clara vendor feel about an AMD-branded component swimming under the Intel Core logo? Lillian Tay, principal analyst in Gartner Technology and Service Provider Research group, said:

"With Intel expressing interest in pushing its inhouse graphics platform, the integration of the AMD brand with its graphics cards is a timely move. However, this may also result in a gap which Nvidia might exploit as an independent vendor to put its technology in Intel machines.

But even should Intel strongly discourage PC makers from combining its processors with AMD video cards, it all depends on consumer demand. Should AMD be able to deliver a superior graphics performance, market pressure may force vendors to offer Intel/AMD hybrids."

To sidestep the issue of having two competing brands on the same laptop, AMD has released two versions of its GPU logos. In Intel-powered PCs, the sticker used will omit the AMD component. This is a good move, as having both Intel and AMD mentioned on the same machine may be confusing for consumers who have traditionally linked both brands to processor chips.

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