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.
AMD will soon deliver open graphics drivers, said Henri Richard just a few minutes ago, and the audience at the opening keynote of the Red Hat Summit broke into applause and cheers. Richard, AMD's executive vice president of sales and marketing, promised: "I'm here to commit to you that it's going to get done." He also promised that AMD is "going to be very proactive in changing way we interface with the Linux community".
Data Evolution has reintroduced AMD's low-cost 'Personal Internet Communicator', aimed at developing regions of the world. The 'decTOP' runs Windows CE 5.0, includes a suite of basic software, has built-in dial-up and broadband networking and a 10GB hard drive, and uses an external keyboard and monitor.
After years breathing AMD's dust, Intel beat its rival to the punch by releasing its quad-core Xeon 5300 'Clovertown' processor for servers in November. But AMD's 'Barcelona' quad-core chip, due to arrive midway through 2007, will be a significant notch faster than the Clovertown chips expected to be on the market at that time, said Randy Allen, AMD's corporate vice president for server and workstation products. "We expect across a wide variety of workloads for Barcelona to outperform Clovertown by 40 percent," Allen said.
"In a series of announcements and conference calls, culminating in a recent analyst meeting, AMD has been slowly revealing pieces of the big picture regarding where they plan to take their platforms in the coming years. I've been following the coverage, and I've put together a synthesis of it below."
AMD has started to ship chips made on the 65-nanometer process. These chips will consume about 30 percent less energy than the same ones produced on the 90-nanometer process when running at the same speed. In the first chips shipped on this process, virtually all of the benefit comes in reduced power consumption, said Nick Kepler, vice president of logic technology development at AMD.
"Last week, AMD showed off a working quad-core processor at an event in San Francisco. The company had promised a quad-core demo by the end of the year, and they did manage to deliver, even if all the audience saw was a Windows machine running task manager. Clearly, the silicon for their next-generation core microarchitecture, codenamed Barcelona (also popularly called 'K8L'), has a few kinks left to be worked out."
AMD has stopped its work on the Personal Internet Communicator project after nearly two years of planning and development. The PIC was announced in late 2004 as a USD 250 headless computer, sporting a Geode x86 processor, 128MB of RAM and a 10GB hard drive. PIC was designed for 'emerging markets' where the cost of computer hardware is seen as prohibitively high.
At an event in Mumbai, soon after the completion of the acquisition of ATI, AMD announced a line of latest Vista-ready ATI Radeon graphic processors. According to Chris Jones, corporate vice president - Windows Core OS Division, "Microsoft will deliver a series of graphics innovations with Windows Vista that provide a customer experience that is second to none. We could not have achieved this without our partnership with ATI. From day one, ATI has played a key role in helping us design and validate the new driver model at the heart of Windows Vista, and ATI has since developed robust and performant drivers that highlight the capabilities of our new operating system."
If there was any doubt that CPU maker AMD's principal reason for acquiring graphics chip powerhouse ATI was to build a mobile computing platform that would rival Intel's Centrino, it was erased this morning with AMD's announcement of a platform project it's currently calling 'Fusion'.
"AMD described its forthcoming quad-core processor, codenamed Barcelona, in a session at today's Microprocessor Forum. Details of the new microarchitecture on which the processor is based (codenamed K8L) have been known for some time now. Still, the event brought some new info, and here are some highlights that I've culled from some of the reporting on it."
AMD chief executive Hector Ruiz said Wednesday that Apple will eventually use its microprocessors alongside those from Intel. Ruiz made the comments during a dinner speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg. "Everybody wants choice," he said, adding that rival Intel's practices have stifled the PC industry's growth. "Knowing Apple, why would they want to be held hostage like everyone else has been?"
AMD plans to announce its new 'Rev F' generation of Opteron server processors Tuesday, the next volley in a competition with Intel's newly competitive Xeon models. The Rev F Opterons, all dual-core models, add new virtualisation abilities and faster memory, run at the same 2.6GHz top speed as preceding mainstream models, and plug into AMD's new 'Socket F'. Although that new socket disrupts server designers' easy upgrade path from one Opteron to the next, it also lays the foundation for quad-core chips in 2007 and for server designs through the end of the decade.
AMD is strongly considering open-sourcing at least a functional subset of ATI’s graphics drivers. It’s time for X Window System, OpenGL, and client virtualization for which ATI binary drivers aren’t available to escape the ghetto of the 1980s-era framebuffer. And what a boon for PR. If AMD’s graphics cards were the only ones with open device drivers, it might affect a buying decision or two.
Chip guru AMD has announced that it's going to drop the ATI brand name following its takeover of the Canadian graphics underdog. Gareth Cater from AMD told Custom PC that 'the new company will be called AMD', meaning that we could shortly be seeing AMD-branded Radeon graphics chips.
Following its recent partnership with AMD to put the latter's chip in its server product line, Dell Computer confirmed this week that it will launch AMD-based laptops as early as October. The move could deal another blow to rival Intel. Dell will release mobile computers running AMD's Sempron and Turion 64x2 processors in early October, representatives from both AMD and Dell, told CNET Taiwan. Initial plans will target consumer models equipped with 15.4-inch displays.