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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 22980 14-Jun-2008 09:10
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Next week I will be visiting AMD offices in Austin, Texas. I am part of a small group of technology bloggers and journalists that will have access to some of their executives during the day.

I am opening this discussion so you can post questions you would like me asking to AMD execs. I will have more details about the trip, who we are meeting, etc later this week.

As far as I know the topics to be discussed are not under any embargo or NDA - so fire away.

You can post your question here or contact me in private.
















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  Reply # 137945 14-Jun-2008 10:56
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When will they fix the ATI drivers so that they work correctly with intelaced HD video? i.e. Freeview TV3 Tongue out






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Reply # 137999 14-Jun-2008 14:46
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CYaBro: When will they fix the ATI drivers so that they work correctly with intelaced HD video? i.e. Freeview TV3 Tongue out


Let's make it a better question, shall we? I believe the people we are meeting are executives, who I doubt would know about interlaced HD video on TV3 HD in New Zealand.

Why not make it a more generic question such as "some of you ATI video cards (models xyz and zyx) have faulty drivers that cause problems when watching interlaced HD video, mainly H.264 - a new digital broadcast standard. Since you are pushing HD now with your new products and vision, how would you go fixing existing drivers so that those HD problems are a thing of the past?"

The point is this people won't know a problem related to fault ticket #ABC1234 is open for HD in New Zealand. But they might know there are problems being worked on.

People, some questions please? Not every time you have the chance!




 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 138004 14-Jun-2008 15:26
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Right now, many benchmarks are a mixed bag of results when it comes to 2 vs 3/4 cores, and it's clear
that software is still not taking advantage of SMP like it could.

Does AMD see reaching cheap and abundant 4 core processors as a natural pause to allow software to catch up, or will AMD continue to push the number of cores each year?

If there is a pause at 4 cores, how long would AMD see that lasting and would that imply a cache/Mhz race again?

Equally, if AMD pushes on and increases the density of cores per fab, how many would AMD see available to the consumer by Q3 2010?

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  Reply # 138104 15-Jun-2008 09:26
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Are they going to sponsor any cloud computer systems in New Zealand for university uses on the KAREN network?

I don;t know if to ask a question about now, the future or the past (cough Intel).

now: umpc, is it the sexy new fast geek toy for xmas masses

the future: 8 cores, are they ready, are they ready, are ready yeat?

past: passed, i don't wan't to hear about amds intel relationship, much.

Can the new motherboards with interrelated gfx,  crossfire/link with added graphics cards?

Just my random questions, almost subjects for conversation.

Can you record it and release podcast of interveiw?
Quote: Computer World: AMD notebook shows signs of rivalling Apple
AMD's Hybrid Graphics design allows system designers to add a discrete ATI GPU to the motherboard, with the advantage that the integrated and discrete GPUs will work together in one notebook to balance performance with battery life. Notebooks with discrete-only GPU designs will run graphics solely from dedicated video RAM, leaving main memory alone and boosting total system performance substantially.
That kind of is my question,  but it's more aimed at the desktop motherboards with integrated GPUs.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/16/amds-firestream-9250-first-processor-to-top-1-teraflop/

Will there be low powered desktops systems using the notebook technology.

I really want a very low powered computer.

What is AMD's doing at the factories in the area's of impact on the environment.  Reducing toxic wastes and energy recycleing?

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  Reply # 139095 19-Jun-2008 01:03
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I have some questions but not sure if these are appropriate?

  1. At the time of AMD ATI merger it was indicated that they will work on some "Media Centric" solutions that could be released as early as 2008 or at least that’s what I interpret from the image towards the bottom of this page (Interview with AMD). So far we have not seen anything "Media centric", when (and possibly what) can we expect to see something? TV tuners integrated with video cards? motherboard chipsets with integrated TV tuners?
  2. AMD along with certain other manufacturers is working on an "alternate spec" to USB 3.0. Would this have the exact same form factor of the current USB connectors and would it be backward comptaible with older USB standards?



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Reply # 139104 19-Jun-2008 07:38
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nav2u:
  1. At the time of AMD ATI merger it was indicated that they will work on some "Media Centric" solutions that could be released as early as 2008 or at least that’s what I interpret from the image towards the bottom of this page (Interview with AMD). So far we have not seen anything "Media centric", when (and possibly what) can we expect to see something? TV tuners integrated with video cards? motherboard chipsets with integrated TV tuners?


AMD has announced their Cinema 2.0 and AMD Live! recently. But I will ask...






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Reply # 139139 19-Jun-2008 11:18
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I've forwarded these (and some PMs) questions to AMD now - but if you have more questions, just post here and I will try to sneak these in too.






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  Reply # 139905 23-Jun-2008 11:50
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Do AMD have any plans at present or in the future that they will feel give them a competitive edge with ATI vs Nvidia?
as currently not only are they being outpaced at a staggering rate (there are single gpu nvidia cards that outperform ati's top of the line dual card setup) but also work on consumer confidence as I know that many people have been burned in the past through bad performance and dodgy marketing
(such as detecting Quake3 timedemo's and dropping graphics quality in order to artificially boost results)
and Wonder what steps AMD are taking with their ATI product range to fix this.





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  Reply # 139980 23-Jun-2008 17:08
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inane: Do AMD have any plans at present or in the future that they will feel give them a competitive edge with ATI vs Nvidia?
as currently not only are they being outpaced at a staggering rate (there are single gpu nvidia cards that outperform ati's top of the line dual card setup) but also work on consumer confidence as I know that many people have been burned in the past through bad performance and dodgy marketing
(such as detecting Quake3 timedemo's and dropping graphics quality in order to artificially boost results)
and Wonder what steps AMD are taking with their ATI product range to fix this.


Just a side note, but have you had a look at the latest 4850 card? It blows the 9800GTX away and its significantly cheaper.
Also 2 of these cards in CF are cheaper and faster than the GTX280.

ATI were a bit behind, but they have caught up heaps.

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  Reply # 139999 23-Jun-2008 18:45
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Ahh, hopefully I'm not too late to sneek one in. :)

AMD have traditionally been at a disadvantage in foundry capacity is manufacturing lithography scale compared to Intel. AMD seem caught in a catch 22 of being unable to compete on a level playing field because of this, leading to slimmer margins on larger cores with decreased yields and corresponding cash flow issues preventing expenditure on additional foundry capacity and manufacturing technologies.

AMD have strategic industry alliances with organizations such as IBM and have sought to outsource foundry capacity to TSMC. With the seemingly exponential cost of state of the art foundries and associated research programs how do AMD see themselves placed in the inevitable consolidation which has been taking place?

 

 

This portion is not part of the question, just my own musings. AMD are obviously in some serious difficulty at the moment in delivering competitive profitable products in both the discrete graphics and CPU markets. A lot of their planned products and manufacturing changes which were planned for 2008 have been delayed to 2009-2010, scaled back or other MIA - their implementation of a 45nm foundry process, while a conservative lower risk strategy, will not yeild as impressive clock scaling as Intel it would seem and has been delayed anyhow. Cutting margins on products which do not compete on preformance and are more expensive to manufacture can only work for so long before you are bleed dry.

If AMD do not come up with something quick smart they will soon find that they just ran out of altitude in their death spiral. This is obviously not in the interests of consumers.


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  Reply # 140109 24-Jun-2008 09:58
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eXDee:
inane: Do AMD have any plans at present or in the future that they will feel give them a competitive edge with ATI vs Nvidia?
as currently not only are they being outpaced at a staggering rate (there are single gpu nvidia cards that outperform ati's top of the line dual card setup) but also work on consumer confidence as I know that many people have been burned in the past through bad performance and dodgy marketing
(such as detecting Quake3 timedemo's and dropping graphics quality in order to artificially boost results)
and Wonder what steps AMD are taking with their ATI product range to fix this.


Just a side note, but have you had a look at the latest 4850 card? It blows the 9800GTX away and its significantly cheaper.
Also 2 of these cards in CF are cheaper and faster than the GTX280.

ATI were a bit behind, but they have caught up heaps.


this is one of the biggest problems I've always had with ATI, instead of pushing the envelope then letting the  tech flow down, they head for the mainstream and try to gain a few cheap points.

yes, the new 4850 is faster than the old generation Nvidia, and yes its cheaper than the new generation Nvidia,

but for how long?

Nvidia (much like intel) will often bring to market a really high quality high specc'd piece of tech, then as production increases bring more and more associated models with the tech out.

this is why up until the recent release of the 4850, there was no comparision, and now with the release of the 4850 there is still no comparision.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/05/09/current-crop-of-graphics-cards-compared-ranked-by-price/ (great image showing price v performance)

I don't like mediocrity-marketing "we're cheaper" just doesn't cut it in my book.  they never push the envelope,

so 2x 4850's is faster than 1x GTX280 - so? I'd rather get 2xGTX480's or maybe 4xGTX480s.

when it comes to graphics cards, its about performance first - definitively so if its the flagship product.




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  Reply # 140604 25-Jun-2008 22:29
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hellonearthisman: Are they going to sponsor any cloud computer systems in New Zealand for university uses on the KAREN network?


Thats an interesting question which I would be interested in the answer too.

I know Massey and AMD (in conjuction with insite) had some form of agreement/deal/partnership wayy back in the day.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/AMD_Massey_Case_Study_6.pdf

However the last upgrade of the cluster at Massey was using SGI(Read re-branded Supermicro) Intel kit:

Massey University
To support the BeSTGRID project*, Massey University chose SGI Altix XE310 compute nodes and Infiniband Switches, capable of 2.2 teraflops using 52 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors, which provide the high-performance computing capacity it required. SGI delivered the cluster to Massey in August.

"More than 5 times the computation can take place on the new SGI Altix high- performance computer," said Dr. Chris Messom, Massey University. "We are excited about the Infiniband connection between the nodes, being able to share memory across nodes and access high speed I/O. The higher speed Altix system allows communication between processing elements with high bandwidth, and lower latency, resulting in increased productivity."

Research projects which will use the new SGI system include:

  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry group studying relativistic effects in chemistry, quantum electrodynamic effects in atoms, electroweak interactions, superheavy elements
  • Theoretical and Computational Physics group studying quantum lattice chromodynamics and solitons in quantum gases
  • Computer science researching parallel machine algorithms and Grid computing tools
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution group studying molecular rates of evolution, biodiversity and molecular anthropology



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  Reply # 140910 27-Jun-2008 15:12
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Hello Folks. This is a summary of my visit to AMD, in their brand new “Lone Star” campus in Austin, TX. They have just moved there a few weeks ago.

The “MC” for the event was Pat Moorhead, VP Advanced Marketing. He’s a very active blogger and showed interested in learning more about some of the problems ATI shows when used here in New Zealand when decoding DVB-T broadcast with H.264 encoding. I will provide more detailed information for this to be looked after.

We had meetings from 9am through 6pm and dinner afterwards. We met Pat Moorhead, Chris Cloran (VP Platform Marketing), David Rooney (Sr PD manager), Matt Mazzantini (Sr PD Manager), Hal Speed (Sr PD Manager),  Charlie Boswell (Dir Advanced Marketing), Walker (Client Analysis Marketing), Rick Gayle (Sr PdM Platform Planning), Ognjen Brkic (Product Mktg Manager Grahics Mobile). The highest ranking person was Nigel Dessau (Chief Marketing Officer).

According to Chris Cloran Turion was just the entry into the mobile space. The Puma platform is the real push into this space, bringing mobile visual computing for everyday people.

A new platform in under works now, codenamed “Shrike” – the first series of Fusion (CPU + GPU) processors, expected to be available in 2009.

“Shrike” will bring CPU and GPU integration into a single CPU core “APU” (Accelerated Processing Unit) called “Swift”.
The platform promises up to 35% GPU performance improvement, 20% CPU performance improvement and up to six hour battery life with Microsoft Windows Vista when used with current battery technologies.

The “Shrike” platform  will compete in the ultra-mobile, ultra-thin notebooks category. This platform could be used in small form-factors for example in desktop or media centers.

Expect “Shrike”-based notebooks to be in the market from the second half of 2009.

David Rooney explained how “Puma” integrates notebooks at Home, Play and at Work. “Puma” is a design based on Turion X2 Ultra 64 + ATI Radeon Premium + Wi-Fi Certified platform.

It brings high quality capabilities for the main activities mobile users use. This includes listening to music, burning CDs/DVDs, watching videos,editing photos/videos, using PC publishing applications and playing video games.

The unified logo certifies the level of integration and guarantees exceptional HD visual performance, best value in the business market and includes dedicate hardware for H.264, MPEG2 and VC-1 decoding.

The biggest challenge in this platform is battery life when playing HD content. Users still don’t  understand the the implications of HD and battery life.

Continuing in the graphics area, we were told about the ATI Hybrid CrossFireX, a new technology that provides 1.7 times boost in 3D graphics performance over the ATI Radeon HD3200.

ATI Hybrid CrossFireX allows the use of both integrated graphics and a discreet graphics card in a mobile notebook platform.

According to test results we were shown, AMD’s own integrated graphics already delivers more performance than a Centrino platform with a discreet card. Adding their own discreet card enhances performance way over the Centrino capabilities. In other words, an Intel mobile platform plus a discreet graphics card is equivalent to the AMD integrated design.

To balance the extreme power requirements an hybrid design brings, the ATI PowerXpress Technology provides a way to manage power for both integrated and discreet graphics. For example when using DC battery the driver defaults to using the integrated video only, and when powered on AC it will use the discreet graphics in addition to the integrated video.

When the discreet graphics card is powered power usage – and battery life – is at the same levels as integrated graphics.
One of the questions was about “Puma” allowing vanilla ATI drivers to be installed. The answer to this question is that this is a well known request by users, but ultimately the OEMs “own” the platforms and can provide their own enhancements. But it doesn’t mean this won’t be possible.

“ATI Premium Graphics” is the branding used to let users know the platform brings integrated and discreet graphics in one.

A bit later Ogi told us about the new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series, the first one with DirectX 10.1 support. The new series supports ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800 series: ATI CrossFireX technology, True-to-life HD experience, ATI XGP technology.

The new naming scheme works like this:

HD 3870:
3 [Generation]
8 [Family]
70 [Variant]

Families:
4: [Mainstream]
6: [Performance]
8: [Enthusiast]

The most interesting technology on show was the ATI XGP technology (eXternal Graphics Platform). This is an extension to PCI Express and uses a new PCIe 2.0 cable to connect to an external graphics box.  This special cabled is called “Lasso” with user-friendly insert and removal, hot plug including automatic switching of video output. Expect it by August 2008 from some major OEM.

The external box support the CrossFire solution but it doesn’t allow mix and match of models due to timing. This solution brings full desktop GPU performance to notebooks. 

Why did AMD come with XGP? Because it seems that 41% of people responding a survey say the weakest performance point in notebooks is theGPU.

Pat Moorhead then showed us the HD4800, a GPU with teraflop performance and 800 processors streams. It supports video upscaling is supported but only with appropriate software by Sonic, Roxio, Cyberlink and WinDVD. The quality is really incredible.

In terms of roadmap, we were told about their wireless strategy, that includes the selection and evalutation of partners based on several dimensions in their solutions vs competitors’ platforms, under the guidelines of an “AMD Better by Design” Wi-Fi  certification programme. Current partners include Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell, and Ralink. Those partners hold more than 67% of the Wi-Fi chipset market.

The “AMD Better by Design” 3G partners includes Ericsson, Option, Novatel Wireless, Qualcomm, and Sierra Wireless.

Another program being worked on is the W-USB (Wireless USB). AMD believes W-USB Gen 2 will have much higher performance that matches wired USB performance. AMD is evaluating solutions for 2009, for possible including in the “Better by Design” programme in 2009/2010.

This is a summary. If you have more questions, post here. When I am back in New Zealand I will upload some pictures.






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  Reply # 140936 27-Jun-2008 16:25
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Great stuff Mauricio!

Looking forward to hearing more!

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