Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th May 2007 18:17 UTC, submitted by diegocg
Intel "The Intel 965GM Express Chipset represents the first mobile product that implements fourth generation Intel graphics architecture. Designed to support advanced rendering features in modern graphics APIs, this chipset includes support for programmable vertex, geometry, and fragment shaders. Extending Intel's commitment to work with the and Mesa communities to continuously improve and enhance the drivers, support for this new chipset is provided through the 2.0 Intel driver and the Mesa 6.5.3 releases. These drivers represent significant work by both Intel and the broader open source community."
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Intel has had some business practices in the past that arguably constitute predatory pricing. But this is not the reason why they outperform AMD through most of each product generation. Intel is 6-12 months ahead of any other vendor in semiconductor fabrication. It took an ill-conceived processor architecture to allow AMD to have a window of sustained performance advantage, during which time they were unable to capitalize on demand due to limited production capacity.

I've wanted AMD to succeed for some time, but their long-term prospects don't look so hot. They currently enjoy a bandwidth advantage in the multi-socket market, but that won't last through 2008 as Intel moves to a serialized bus architecture and an on-die memory controller. They're ramping up production capacity for 2008/9, but they needed this badly in 2004. If AMD continues to take a beating in performance per watt, they run the risk of having excess capacity burning a hole in their pocket.

AMD is failing to execute in spectacular fashion in the graphics space, with the ATi acquisition causing a hiccup in the release cadence that this market doesn't tolerate. Where's the DirectX 10 part? With lack of competition comes lack of pricing pressures, which nVidia is using to redefine the price point for high-end graphics. If AMD was doing their part, we wouldn't have $850 graphics cards today. If this continues, the lucky few will be getting $1000 GeForce cards for Christmas.

Intel can compete with nVidia--eventually. That's more than I can say about AMD going forward. They have discrete graphics in the works, and they have the industry clout to make the form factor adjustments necessary to account for GPUs with power envelopes that dwarf those of CPUs. They also have the process technology to do something about runaway GPU thermals.

Finally, Intel is going to leverage OSS as they take on the midrange and high-end of the graphics market. It's public knowledge that these GPUs are glorified stream processors with a few special-purpose hardware accelerators and highly evolved drivers. Letting the OSS community participate in the development of these drivers will bear fruit for Intel. With an OSS starting point from Intel and full hardware specs, we can make better drivers than nVidia or AMD and establish leadership in the graphics market.

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