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Advanced Micro Devices revealed during its Analyst Day that it has no plans to release a new family of graphics processing units (GPUs) in 2008, as planned. The decision seems to support the general plan to cut capital expenditures in order to return to profitability, but pose a lot of threat to performance of the firm’s graphics product group, the former ATI Technologies.

Rick Bergman, who is senior vice president and general manager of AMD graphics products group (GPG), did not talk about long-term future of the former ATI business, the Radeon GPUs; but concentrated on talking about current achievements of AMD/ATI, ATI CrossFire X technology as well as products of not-too-distant future, namely ATI R680, ATI RV620 and ATI RV635.

Nevertheless, Mario Rivas, who is executive vice president of computing solutions group revealed in his presentation that the code-named ATI R700-family of products will only be available in 2009.

Apparently, AMD’s next-generation Leo platform, the successor of current Spider platform, will only feature code-named ATI R6xx (ATI Radeon HD 2000-series and ATI Radeon HD 3000-series graphics cards) graphics adapters. The AMD Leo platform is due in 2008, whereas its successor – the so-called AMD Leo Refresh platform – that is scheduled to arrive in 2009 will sport code-named ATI R7xx graphics cards. In addition, ATI R700-series graphics will be featured with Kodiak and Cartwheel platforms, which are also scheduled to debut in 2009.

Earlier this year AMD’s Rick Bergman said that Leo platform will have a new core-logic (AMD RD800-series) as well as “a new high-end GPU family as well”. But AMD decided not to release its AMD RD800-series chipsets in 2008 as well as the new GPU family. As a consequence, the new platform for enthusiasts will have to rely on AMD 780-/790-series chipsets as well as ATI Radeon HD 3800 X2 graphics boards, the currently available technology. Basically, the key feature of Leo platforms seems to be AMD Phenom processor made using 45nm process technology with build-in DDR3 memory controller.

Even though with DirectX 10.1-supporting graphics processing units (GPUs) available ATI/AMD does not need to update feature-set of its graphics chips until the new Microsoft Windows operating system with new DirectX 11 comes out, AMD tremendously needs to increase performance of its GPUs dramatically in order to stay competitive in general and in the high-end high-margin segment in particular. Without ATI R700, AMD will have to offer its graphics products only in the price-sensitive markets, as it happens presently due to the fact that Nvidia Corp. captured the whole market of graphics cards that cost 400 and upwards. If Nvidia releases a new family of GPUs in 2008, AMD will have to withdraw even from the markets where it does compete now.

The reasons behind the delay of ATI R700 are unclear, but are believed to be related to AMD’s intention to cut down the research and development (R&D) expenses. The consequences of the decision may be dramatic, if not fatal, to AMD’s graphics product group, as state-of-the-art graphics technologies not only enable graphics cards that retail for the price as high as $849, but also open the door to video game consoles, which sell in hundreds of millions quantities.

Discussion

Comments currently: 39
Discussion started: 12/14/07 03:48:20 PM
Latest comment: 07/21/08 11:27:55 PM
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[1-7]

1. 
So AMD wasted every dollar for buying ATI.
I hope Radeon HD38X0 won't be the last good cards from ATI.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 03:48:20 PM]
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You consider them good?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 03:58:32 PM]
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2. 
they are heading in the same direction as cpu's ... as in dual-quad cores, which means the r6xx series bolted together. how is this putting a nail in any coffin??? 55nm has given amd a very good r670 core that is cool and uses alot less power to run than the r600 core. so joining to of them together makes total sense, why design a whole new core???

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 05:11:31 PM]
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nVIDIA's going to be releasing the GeForce 9 sometime next year; springtime I would guess. Unless nVIDIA has managed to screw it up, AMD is going to have to stick five of good cores on a graphics card to compete. The power consumption and heat generation will be frightening, not to mention that the driver optimization will be a nightmare.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/16/07 03:22:45 AM]
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i'm pretty sure G9 series isnt gonna be THAT fast. nvidia's refresh cores on the 8800GT / GTS cards still cant beat their old GTX and they are clocked much higher. i believe nvidia G9 will probably be 2 cores aswell...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/16/07 02:40:39 PM]
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3. 
Did I read right? ATI has no plans for 2008? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
WOW JUST WOW, I knew they were going down, but so fast and suddenly? wow.

Me hugs my "yet to arrive" 8800GTS 512
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 07:25:27 PM]
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4. 
Well on the positive side, at least they are just being honest from the get go, rather than lie and then actually never deliver.

However, the graphics market updates ever 6-12mo and unless they are coming back with something earthshattering, then this feels more like they are exiting the component gpu market.

The 3rd factor in all this is Intel. I have read enough rumour mills to be convinced that Intel will probably bring discrete gpu products in 2008. And the tone of Intel vs Nvidia leads me to think that Intel plans to bury Nvidia, even on the high end.

So 2008 may not be entirely dull :)
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 08:37:03 PM]
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5. 
ATI is being influenced too much by AMD...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/14/07 09:42:44 PM]
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AMD is ATi
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/15/07 05:37:18 PM]
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I think what he mean't by that was that AMD should have left ATI alone to do there thing as they were profitable.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/16/07 05:51:21 AM]
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6. 
Crapping over roadmaps has become a hobby for AMD i guess.

Guess we'll see lots of HD 3850/3870 next year @ very low prices with 2 chips on board and some low end graphics cards from these 2 as well. Will this bring as much money as AMD/ATi is hoping?! I don't know, but i don't think so.

Only way this is going to succeed if nvidia release high end chips first then low end chips after another quarter as usual, giving head room for ATi to sell some chips.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/15/07 05:59:11 AM]
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7. 
I can't believe AMD having bought ATI has just pretty much destroyed it by taking it out of the high end graphics market.

They should have just left ATI well alone, they were doing fine as they were.

What have AMD gained from it? A whole load of debt, a loss of expertise in the people it has been shedding, and now they are delaying development of what was to be the only competitive alternative to nVidia.

I bet the nVidia boys and girls are crowing with delight at this one.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/15/07 09:41:59 AM]
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