The CEO of chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is stepping down. Hector Ruiz had been just the second person to lead AMD after company founder Jerry Sanders. He'll be replaced by the chip maker's No. 2 executive, Dirk Meyer.
AMD has seen a few serious setbacks lately, especially with their Barcelona server processor, but it seems as if the company is trying hard to get things back on track. The first step in solving an issue is acknowledging it exists in the first place, and AMD CEO Hector Ruiz did just that last December. "We blew it and we're very humbled by it and we learned from it and we're not going to do it again." Reseller Advocate Magazine asks, are you ready to believe him?
Back in the day when PCs were first moving into households, they came in big, clunky desktop form factor machines, with a beige colour, built like a brick. Later on, for some inexplicable reason, the world decided to move to tower configurations - more stuff could be stuffed inside, yes, but I considered them to be impractical and always in the way. These days, people just buy laptops and be done with it. This has a few disadvantages, one of them being the lack of graphical grunt in many laptops, combined with the inability to upgrade the graphics hardware. AMD believes it has a solution.
AMD had a bit of a setback with their Barcelona server processor, the company seems to have moved on. During a conference call today, the company laid out its plans for the server space for the coming years, putting 6 and 12 core processors on the horizon.
"For the past several weeks we have been referencing AMD's 'tcore' in several of our articles, which is a user-space software suite that has been developed and used internally at ATI by engineers to work on various aspects of their binary drivers. Tcore is primarily used for testing prior to the availability of the actual silicon for their forthcoming graphics processors. John Bridgman and Alex Deucher have been working tediously to get this tcore source-code sanitized and cleared for public release, and finally they have reached this milestone. AMD has just published the first bits of open-source 3D programming documentation for ATI GPUs. This 3D programming documentation covers the R500 series and even goes back with information on the R300/400 series as well. The R600 3D programming guide will also be out soon. This information available today is what will foster the growth of open-source R500/600 3D support for the Radeon and RadeonHD drivers as well as R600 2D acceleration."
"AMD is on the heels of releasing the next set of GPU programming documentation to aide in the development of the open-source R500/600 drivers (xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd). It's already been discussed what this NDA-free documentation release will have, but one of the questions that have repeatedly come up is if/when AMD will release information on accelerated video playback. AMD's John Bridgman has now stated what they plan to release in the video realm as well as a new requirement for their future graphics processors: being open-source friendly while avoiding DRM."
AnandTech takes a look at AMD's new Phenom. "If you were looking for a changing of the guard today it's just not going to happen. Phenom is, clock for clock, slower than Core 2 and the chips aren't yet yielding well enough to boost clock speeds above what Intel is capable of. While AMD just introduced its first 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz quad-core CPUs today, Intel previewed its first 3.2GHz quad-core chips. We were expecting Intel to retain the high end performance crown, but also expected AMD to chip away at the lower end of the quad-core market - today's launch confirms that Intel is still the king of the quad-core market."
AMD announced plans to introduce a desktop PC processor with three cores in the first quarter of 2008. The three-core chip will carry the same Phenom brand name that AMD plans to attach to its quad-core desktop chips due to ship to PC companies by the end of this year.
"Not only is AMD providing the open-source community with their ATI GPU specifications, but they have also been partnering with Novell on the development of a new open-source display driver. We've been telling you about AMD's open-source work all month, and today the new driver is finally available for download. It is still very much a work in progress and isn't much further along than the open-source R500 Avivo driver. However, this new driver does support the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) family. This new X.Org driver is called RadeonHD."
AMD started delivering on their word of providing GPU specifications to the open-source community without a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and now with the 2007 X Developer Summit having come to a close, we asked several key members of the X.Org community on how they judge AMD's recent move. They were also asked if they believe NVIDIA will follow suit in helping the open-source community. Those that responded were David Airlie, Daniel Stone, Jerome Glisse, Stephane Marchesin, and Oliver McFadden. Mark Shuttleworth had also previously commented on AMD's efforts.
Daniel Stone is announcing the avalability of the first AMD/ATI specs - chips RV630 and M56 apparently. The specifications are released without an NDA.
"This morning at the X Developer Summit in the United Kingdom, Matthew Tippett and John Bridgman of AMD have announced that they will be releasing their ATI GPU specifications without any Non-Disclosure Agreements needed by the developers! In other words, their GPU specifications will be given to developers in the open. Therefore you shouldn't need to worry about another R200 incident taking place. The 2D specifications will be released very soon and the 3D ones will follow shortly."
AMD has unveiled its first set of quad-core processors, three months after its original launch date. This 'complicated' design that resulted in the delay and puts the chip maker a full generation behind its archrival in terms of chip manufacturing processes.
The news already got out yesterday, but now it's official: AMD will open the specifications to its graphics chips. "AMD announced on Sept. 7 a major strategic change in open-source graphic processors support. The company announced it would provide open-source information and a development package supporting the ATI RadeonHD 2000 series ATI Radeon X1000 series of graphics processing units on Linux desktops." The new information is that AMD will partner with Novell's SUSE team.
LWN.net writes: "A quick report from the kernel summit: AMD's representative at the summit has announced that the company has made a decision to enable the development of open source drivers for all of its (ATI) graphics processors from the R500 going forward. There will be specifications available and a skeleton driver as well; a free 2D driver is anticipated by the end of the year. The rest will have to be written; freeing of the existing binary-only driver is not in the cards, and 'that is better for everybody'. Things are looking good on this front. More in the kernel summit report to come."
Phil Hester, AMD's chief technology officer, stopped by the Hot Chips conference here at Stanford University on Tuesday to talk a little more about Fusion, AMD's plan to integrate a graphics processor and PC processor onto the same chip. By the time the chip is ready around 2009, Hester thinks the growing explosion of video and 3D graphics on PCs these days will require an affordable chip that still delivers great graphics performance.
"Last week we had published The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux, and to no real surprise, the feedback ranged from beliefs that it was propaganda to others being grateful that AMD finally shared some additional information with their Linux customers about the fglrx development cycle. While the article was far from being propaganda, what had outraged a number of open-source developers were AMD's comments on the R200 support or there the lack of. In this article, we have a few additional comments to share along with what some open-source developers had to say about AMD's information."
"Last year when AMD announced their acquisition of ATI it led many to wonder how this would impact the quality of their Linux support and driver. Some had even speculated that AMD would be opening the code to at least a subset of their graphics drivers, and while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article. In this article we will be exposing what truly consists of the ATI/AMD driver development cycle and ultimately what they are really doing to improve their image in the Linux community."
"AMD recently disclosed a few details regarding their upcoming mobile platform technologies, codenamed 'Griffin' and 'Puma'. We've been given some preliminary information regarding these plans and thought we'd share a few of the more salient details with you here. The 'Griffin' codename pertains to an upcoming mobile processor that incorporates a number of features designed specifically for the mobile segment, with the intention of increasing performance and battery life. And 'Puma' is the name given to the new platform as a whole."
AMD says its badly needed quad-core desktop processors are on the way, and they'll arrive bearing a new name. Two quad-core chips will be available in the second half of the year, the Phenom FX and the Phenom X4, and a dual-core chip based on a similar design called the Phenom X2 will also appear by the end of the year.