It has now been over a week since AMD dropped the bombshell that it would be seeking to acquire ATI in a massive $5.4 billion dollar deal to be closed sometime in Q4 of this year.  Regardless of each company's current position in the market, the AMD/ATI merger has the potential to completely re-write the face of competition and a number of markets we cover on a regular basis.  It's a tremendous gamble on AMD's part, especially considering that much of the deal is in borrowed cash.  Whether this deal ends up being the smartest move AMD ever made or the beginning of the end has yet to be seen, and honestly at this point it's far too early to predict what will come out of it should the acquisition go through. 

While predicting isn't our forte to begin with, what we can do is present you all sides of the story.  We'll take you through the perspectives of AMD and ATI as well as NVIDIA and Intel, and conclude with a bit of our own analysis on the entire situation.  We'll start off with a bit of background information on the acquisition:

  • AMD plans on acquiring ATI for a total of $5.4 billion dollars in a mixture of cash and stock.  AMD will use $4.2 billion in cash ($1.7 billion currently on hand, and another $2.5 billion borrowed) and 57 million of its shares to pay for the deal.
  • The deal will close in the next 100 - 120 days, finalizing it near the end of 2006.
  • AMD isn't disclosing under what conditions it would walk away from the deal. 
  • According to AMD's Hector Ruiz, AMD is partnering with ATI to develop "integrated silicon where it makes sense".
  • AMD has no intention of blocking or prohibiting the sale of ATI products to anyone, but neither AMD nor ATI is counting on things like ATI Intel chipset sales continuing going forward. 
  • Current ATI roadmaps over the next 6 months will remain unchanged.
  • ATI's manufacturing arrangement (mainly ATI being a fabless manufacturer) will not change for the next 1 - 2 years.  The current production models will remain as-is. 
  • AMD doesn't believe that NVIDIA will alter its relationship with AMD; NVIDIA believes the same. 
  • Intel has not revoked ATI's bus license and has not made any public changes to its cross-licensing agreements currently in place with AMD and ATI. 

With the backdrop set, let's kick things off by looking at the merger from AMD's perspective. 

AMD's Position
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  • sykemyke - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Hey, why don't we just put FPGA block on the cpu?

    This way, programmer could create really new Assembly command, like 3DES or something..
    Reply
  • unclebud - Monday, August 07, 2006 - link

    it was good to just read any sort of article from the site owner.
    was feeling that the reviews section had just fallen into the depths of fanboyism, so it was good just to hear somebody at least sometimes impartial THINKING out loud rather than just showing off.
    what's really interesting to me is that the whole article mimics what was written in the latest (i think) issue of cpu from selfsame author.
    good issue incidentally. will buy it from wal-mart hopefully tomorrow (they have 10% off magazines)
    cheers, and keep representing -- i still have the 440bx benchmarks/reviews filed away in a notebook
    Reply
  • jp327 - Sunday, August 06, 2006 - link

    I'm not a gamer so I usually dont follow the video segment, but looking at the Torenza
    slide on page 2(this article), I can't help but see the similarity between what amd forcasts and the PS3's Cell architectuter:

    http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2379&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2379&p... cell

    http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2768&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2768&p... K8L

    Doesn't AMD have a co-op of some sort w/ IBM?
    Reply
  • RSMemphis - Sunday, August 06, 2006 - link

    I thought you guys already knew this, but apparently not.
    Most likely, there will be no Fab 30, it will be re-equipped to be Fab 38, 300 mm with 65 nm features.
    Considering all the aging Fabs out there, it makes sense to have the 90 nm parts externally manufactured.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Saturday, August 05, 2006 - link

    of the 5.4b of ATI's purchase price, is most of that due to intellectual property?
    i mean as you state, ATI has no fabs.


    and then regarding the future of GPU's, with CPU's now becoming more and more multithreaded, couldnt it be fathomable that some of the work be moved back to the cpu in order to fill that workload?
    unless of course gpus are also going multithreaded soon? (on die, not just SLI)
    Reply
  • eugine MW - Saturday, August 05, 2006 - link

    I had to register just to say well written article. It has provided me with much more information regarding the merger than any other website.

    Greatly written.
    Reply
  • MadBoris - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    How is the GPU on a CPU even considered a good idea by anyone?

    GPU bandwidth + CPU Bandwith = how the hell are mobo bus's and chipset going to handle all that competing bandwidth from one socket. Either way their is crazy amount of conflicting bandwidth from one socket, I doubt it can be done without serious thrashing penalties.

    When I want to upgrade my video card, I have to buy some $800 CPU/GPU combo. :O

    Call me crazy, but that sounds like an April fools joke. But who's kidding who?

    It's doom and gloom for PC gaming, and AMD just made it worse.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    Considering that we have the potential for dual socket motherboards with a GPU in the second socket, of a "mostly GPU CPU" in the second socket, GPU on CPU isn't terrible. Look at Montecito: 1.7 billion transistors on a CPU. A couple more process transitions and that figure will be common for the desktop CPUs.

    What do you do with another 1.4 billion transistors if you don't put it into a massive L2/L3 cache? Hmmm... A GPU with fast access to the CPU, maybe multiple FSBs so the GPU can still get lots of bandwidth, throw on a physics processor, whatever else you want....

    Short term, GPU + CPU in a package will be just a step up from current IGPs, but long term it has a lot of potential.
    Reply
  • dev0lution - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    1. There was no mention of the channel in this article, which is the vehicle by which most of these products make it to market. Intel and Nvidia have a leg up on any newly formed ATI/AMD entity, in that they make sure their partners make money and are doing more and more to reward them for supporting their platforms. AMD has been somewhat confused lately, trying to keep their promises to their partners while trying to meet sales goals on the other.

    2. Intel and Nvidia could ramp up their partnership a whole lot quicker than AMD/ATI can (no pesky merger and integrating cultures to worry about), so now you have Nvidia with a long term, very gradual share shift on the AMD side with a quicker ramp up on the Intel side of things to replace ATI's share. Intel and Nvidia in the short term end up doing pretty well, with plenty of time to develop next gen platforms to compete with whatever the long term AMD/ATI roadmap looks like.

    3. AMD/ATI got more publicity and PR over this whole deal than they probably could have gotten with their annual marketing budgets combined. Everyone inside and outside the tech world have been talking about this merger which isn't a bad way to get brand recognition for no additional investment.
    Reply
  • s1wheel4 - Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - link

    This will be the end of AMD and ATI as we know them today....and the end of both in the high end enthusiasts market...when merged; the new company will be nothing more than a mediocre company both of which will lag behind Intel and NVIDIA in performance.



    Reply

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