I remember a time when you bought ATI instead of NVIDIA, much the same way you still buy AMD instead of Intel. As we all know, AMD bought ATI, further confirming the implicit relationship between the two that already existed anyway. Now, though, the relationship comes to an end, since AMD has confirmed the ATI brand will be phased out.
ATI’s history goes way back to 1985, when it was founded as Array Technologies Incorporated in Ontario, Canada. Over the years, the company has developed graphics chipset solutions for all manner of markets, including more obscure products like Imageon, a line of graphics chips for mobile devices like PDAs and phones. ATI also supplies the graphics processors for most of the console gaming market (Wii and Xbox 360, and previously the GameCube, which is a Wii without fancy controllers).
Well, AMD feels it’s time to end the ATI brand. Usually, these brand shake-ups come across as rather arbitrary, but not this time around – AMD is readying the launch of its Fusion processors, which combine regular processing cores with graphics chips on the same die. In light of this it would only be confusing to carry both brands at the same time.
As a result, brands like “ATI Radeon” and “ATI FirePro” will be renamed to exclude the ATI bit, and branding stickers and such will get a nice added AMD logo. In order to not get into the awkward situation where PCs with Intel processors and Radeon graphics processors carry AMD branding, the company will also supply OEMs with AMD-less “Radeon” marketing material.
So, this is the end of the line for the ATI name. The first ATI-less products will ship later this year.
Will be interesting to see how well such a chip performs compared to more standard fayre.
So the people who know about the merger don’t care, but those are hardly the people you have to reach with emotion targeted marketing anyway and while I always thought the Ati Brand had a somewhat cheap feel to it, I doubt that AMD will immediately become a trusted Graphics Hardware builder to the less informed people, especially if the first products to come out are low end embedded GPUs.
Thus I think this is overall a bad decision and while very temporary in effect I predict a sales drop for at least a few months for the rebranded GPU products.