Far be it for me to instruct AMD how to do business (if I had $5.4bn I would’ve bought Hawaii and called it the Kingdom of Gordonia) so I won’t, but could it really be about to destroy the brand it just shelled out all that dough for?
Well, if you are to read one of any number of write ups across the web you’ll find this is the hot topic of conversation and it is gaining momentum. The thinking behind it is logical too: out Centrino Intel in one major step by supplying a single platform that integrates CPU, GPU and WiFi but – importantly – can stretch the full performance spectrum. It could also have the rather amusing side effect of forcing Intel somewhere down the line to admit the best graphics solution for a future line of processors comes from AMD! After all, I can’t see any alternative without Intel being pushed into an unnatural union with nVidia.
Further credibility has also been given to the brand kill theory because the $5.4bn deal was a straight takeover, not a merger, meaning ATI has no say in its own future. Of course AMD may opt to simply incorporate the ATI name into its range of chipsets much in the same way HP (disastrously) did with Compaq, but would any company really copy anything that calamitous squish ever did?
Either way, I think the ‘death of ATI’ (as it has been written up elsewhere) has legs and word is a number of senior sources have been leaking these details in order to gauge public reaction. nVidia pulled a similar stunt with great success when it gleefully slaughtered 3dfx a number of years back and I’ll give you good odds AMD is about to do the same…
AMD has now come out and denied it will kill off the brand with an official statement:
AMD has no plans to drop the ATi brand name or ATi's product brands. The ATi name will live on at AMD as our leading consumer brand, and so will the Radeon brand and other ATi product brands. AMD's executive management knows very well the power and value of branding, and ATi's branding is some of the most valued in the global technology industry.
What does this mean? Very little really, other than the terrifying HP route could now be the preferred option (don't do it boys, don't do it!).