Tag: ATI

Private equity eyes up AMD – report

AMD Analyst Day '15_2Silver Lake, which master minded the exit of Dell as a publicly listed company, is reported to be thinking about taking a 20 percent share in troubled microprocessor company AMD.

Fudzilla reports that multiple industry sources have leaked the news to Fuad Abazovic, the master mind of the independent web site.

AMD’s shares sell at less than $2 so Silver Lake wouldn’t have to shell out very much money to acquire a fifth of the company.

AMD has struggled in recent years to be competitive both with chip giant Intel and its graphics rival Nvidia.

It needs the money.

Fudzilla also reports that AMD is set to lay off more people in the very near future.

AMD could not be reached for comment at press time.

AMD to build gaming tablet

Waiting for AMD to adjust itself to the consumer mobile market was a little like waiting for Godot, but now it seems that the chipmaker really wants to contribute something.

Word on the street is that AMD is planning to build a tablet of its own to show its suppliers how it should be done.

According to TechRadar, AMD wants to build a game tablet, code-named as “Project Discovery” and the beast is so cool that it has already won an award for innovation at CES 2014, which will take place in January, 2014.

Images show that AMD’s upcoming gaming tablet will be similar to the Windows 8 Razer Edge gaming tablet. Thus, AMD’s gaming tablet would come equipped with a game controller and a docking station. If it will really see the sunlight, then it will obviously come equipped with Windows 8.1.

It looks like AMD’s “award winning” tablet will only be a prototype for now, with a commercial product being launched on the market later.

AMD said that it did not plan to enter the market with a branded tablet and peripherals at this time, which might suggest the new tablet might some sort of deal with another supplier, or it might be lying.

Either way, AMD entering the market will make it as popular as Microsoft was when it came out with its Surface tablet. The feeling out there among OEMs is that chipmakers should stick to making chips and leave the plastic and the tin to the experts.

AMD’s Mullins chip is a 64-bit, x86-based chip and the low-power Mullins APU is supposed to be AMD’s answer to Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm. Mullins has a claimed double per-watt performance over its predecessor, Temash. 

AMD turns into ATI

Word on the street is that AMD is about to take control of 40 per cent of the GPU market.

Taiwanese oracle Digitimes has been chatting to its unnamed graphics card maker sources and come up with a yarn which claims that AMD’s global market share for GPUs is on the rise since the launch of its Radeon R7 and R9 series.

In fact, the outfit is expected to increase to 40 percent over the next half year.

Recently AMD announced net profits of $48 million for the third quarter with notebook-related shipments dropping significantly and revenues from GPUs also declining.

But sales from customised products and stable desktop shipments helped the company to turn profitable.

AMD itself is not doing so well, but it is starting to look like it is dependent on its graphics business to keep it sinking under completely.

There were those who thought that AMD was insane to write a cheque for $5.6 billion to buy ATI in 2006. But over the last two years the GPU business has done wonders for AMDs bottom line. If the Digitimes rumours are correct then it means that AMD is fast becoming ATI as its own regular chip business flounders. 

AMD defectors to Nvidia lose legal challenge

A group of AMD traitors who crawled across the 38th parallel to join Kim Jensen Huang’s Democratic People’s Republic of Nvidia have suffered a setback in their legal battle against their former employer. 

The defectors tried to dismiss claims alleging that they disclosed AMD trade secrets and urged former co-workers to join them, in what can only be described as sedition. The court didn’t see it that way, and it seems to believe that they didn’t come empty handed. However, the judge did grant a request to throw out a claim alleging unfair competition. 

AMD maintains that the ex-employees transferred in excess of 100,000 files relevant to AMD’s GPU business in the days leading up to their departure. An AMD spokesperson said the facts are clearly laid out in their pleadings and supported by forensic evidence. 

The files included confidential information on AMD licensing agreements with major customers, proposed licensing strategies and technical information on new products and processes being developed by AMD, reports Bloomberg

Nvidia is not a defendant in the suit, but the whole mess is obviously becoming a big PR problem for the chipmaker. 

Apple graphics man returns to AMD fold

Our old friend  Raja Koduri, who was poached by Apple four years ago to head up its graphic stuff, has been re-poached by AMD, it has been confirmed.

The story, first revealed on Cnet, has been confirmed by highly placed sources at AMD, we can reveal tonight.

Koduri was an ATI man and a high flyer at the company until Apple approached him with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

We met him last at AMD’s Sunnyvale offices where he waxed lyrical about Feng Shui in Silicon Valley.

Koduri, a highly affable chap, will bring much needed expertise back into the AMD fold. We look forward to making his acquaintance again on the right side of the Feng Shui tracks. We reported on Koduri’s departure here and here.

Galleon boss Rajaratnam gets 11 years in gaol

The case of Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire, and his insider trading is winding to a close – but not for him, as he will spend 11 years in a Federal prison to have a think about what he did.

The long-winded and complex insider trading case saw a media circus close in around the greed of those allegedly involved.

As more were thrown in the clink, the circle broke open and reached far. It implicated executives in big brand companies like Intel and IBM.

IBM’s Robert Moffat got just six months in prison and a $50,000 fine while others around him were getting thrown in for years or more. Ex Intel employee Rajiv Goel was also critical to Rajaratnam’s prosecution.

Their punishments pale in comparison to the Galleon boss’ 11 years in Gaol, but he did face up to 20.

Rajaratnam was found guilty in May this year of 14 counts of fraud.   

The New York Times reports Judge Holwell as saying of the case: “Insider trading is an assault on the free markets. His crimes reflect a virus in our business culture that needs to be eradicated.”

Progress, recession take their toll on sales of add-in graphics cards

Graphics research firm JPR said that sales of boards with discrete graphics chips fell by over 15 percent in the second quarter compared to sales in the second quarter last year.

Slightly over 16 million add in boards shipped in the second quarter of this year, compared to 19.01 million in the same period last year. Integrated CPUs from both AMD and from Intel which fuse graphics on the same die are having an increasing effect on the market for add in boards.

Add in boards are favoured by computer gamers who pay a lot for the privilege of using AMD-ATI or Nvidia graphics chips. But average selling prices are gradually declining, JPR said.

They’re also used in high end workstations.

AMD held 40.6 percent of the market in Q2 of this year, while Nvidia held 59 percent, JPR said.

The research company puts the decline down to the impact of integrated embedded graphics and a prolonged worldwide recession.

Chip conference in McMarrakesh closes

It’s been a lot of fun attending this chip conference. There’s only me, so I’ve had to talk to myself a bit. But you discover odd things at chip conferences, even solo ones.

For instance, Jon Carvill, senior chip spinner at GlobalFoundries (GloFo) and before that at AMD nee ATI wrote a nice letter to us hacks to tell us this is his last week jetsetting between Singapore, Dresden, Fishkill and the rest for AMD’s spinoff. That has prompted much speculation about where he will be going next.

Anyway, what a juxtaposition of worlds Marrakech represents. The following photos say a lot. LibyaOil and KFC are bang next to each other. The third photo shows the place blown up last week with some casualties.  The roads are quite terrifying here, but compared to Bangalore’s 100 Feet Road, they’re a doddle, touch wood.

No, sorry we have no idea who the lass on the left in the last photo is. Toodle pip!



Windows sends error reports to wrong companies

TechEye was tipped off to the fact that Windows may be sending information erroneously to Hewlett-Packard.

We received a message from an individual who said that his ATI display driver crashed and Windows 7 wanted to report the problem to HP, a company who had absolutely nothing to do with the problem.

“So my display driver crashed recently, and Windows 7 was kind enough to suggest that I send additional information to the manufacturer,” our source said. “The only problem? They wanted to send it to HP.”

He sent in a screenshot, which says: “Hewlett-Packard is interested in gathering additional feedback.”


AMD supports OpenGL 4.1 for Windows and Linux

AMD has announced its support of Open GL 4.1 on Microsoft and Linux platforms in its latest driver release for a number of its graphics cards.

The driver release, available on the AMD website for the ATI FirePro, ATI FireGl and AMD Radeon cards, will support OpenGL 4.1 for Microsoft’s Windows 7, Vista, XP, as well as Linux.

“AMD has a long tradition of supporting open industry standards, and with the announcement of support for OpenGL 4.1, we continue to demonstrate that commitment,” said Janet Matsuda, general manager, AMD professional graphics.

“Maintaining OpenGL as a strong and viable graphics API is very important to AMD and we are proud to support the OpenGL development community.”

The latest drivers are named as ATI FirePro and ATI FireGL unified driver 8.801 and AMD Catalyst 10.12.

“The Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. R&D team is focused on offering the best user experience possible by enabling real-time OpenGL rendering,” said Ron Bates, Senior Manager, Graphical Applications, Dassault Systemes.

“AMD, through its close collaboration with Dassault Systemes, and its optimized OpenGL implementation and consistent support, presents SolidWorks users with
an extraordinary graphics experience.”

AMD’s driver for OpenGL 4.1 includes full compatibility with the OpenGL 4.1 standard on AMD’s most recent graphics products including ATI FirePro V3800, ATI FirePro V4800, ATI FirePro V5800, ATI FirePro V7800, ATI FirePro V8800 and ATI FirePro V9800 and the AMD Radeon HD 6900 and AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6800 graphics cards.

It will feature improved OpenCL(TM) interoperability for accelerating computationally intensive visual applications, as well as continued support for both the Core and Compatibility profiles first introduced with OpenGL 3.2, enabling developers to use a streamlined API or retain backwards compatibility for existing OpenGL code, depending on their needs

The driver will allow higher geometric precision with 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs, and increased rendering flexibility with multiple viewports for a rendering surface.

It was also announced by AMD today that it would be appointing two of the firm’s technical leaders, Sam Naffziger and Leendert van Doorn, to AMD Corporate Fellow for their leadership in power management technology and software development, respectively.

Corporate Fellow is the highest level of technical recognition at AMD, with Naffziger and van Doorn becoming only the third and fourth employees to hold the position.

“This designation is reserved for individuals who impact AMD’s business opportunities and technical breadth by providing a high degree of expertise, creativity and strategic direction,” said Chekib Akrout, senior vice president and general manager of AMD Technology Development.

“Sam and Leendert are not only leaders in their respective technical fields, but they are also crucial to AMD’s competitive position.”

Sam Naffziger is said to have more than 22 years of experience in developing microprocessors and has been described as a ‘visionary’ in circuit design and power management technologies, since joining AMD in 2006, notably making significant contributions to the Bulldozer core.

Leendert van Doorn is a recognised technical authority in a number of key areas, says AMD, including operating systems, virtualisation, security and manageability.