Everyone has speculated that the buyout of ATI by AMD would end the short-lived chipset business that ATI had with Intel. Many people have looked at the RD600 (not to be confused with the upcoming R600 graphics card) as the one and only ATI chipset to see an Intel CPU. Some people lamented that possibility, but they can breathe a sigh of relief now. AMD has confirmed that Intel chipsets will remain
on the company's roadmap.
AMD has also gone on to state that it has little interest in attempting to overrun Intel's own thriving chipset business. Instead, it would be quite happy with just a decent share of the enthusiast portions of that market and those looking for higher-end integrated VIVO. Even with that market in mind, AMD has promised that it doesn't want such integration as Centrino, instead continuing its idea of remaining a fairly open system and encouraging partner companies.
The extension of hospitality didn't stop there - AMD also stated that it had every intent to remain on good terms with NVIDIA, the current leading chipset provider for AMD platforms. Such a statement is a welcome sound to enthusiast ears, who have been worried ever since the first day of ATI's buyout that competition and cooperation may both decrease.
There's nothing officially holding AMD to these promises aside from the court of public opinion, but they do make some pretty smart financial sense. In fact, it makes the whole takeover look a lot more brilliant.
By retaining good relations with each of these companies, AMD can now garner some trade secret understanding of development. Intel will need to discuss new CPU architectures for chipsets with ATI. New graphics setups (particularly memory structure) by NVIDIA will need to be discussed with AMD for CPU development, as will any chipset technology being developed for use on AMD platforms (which can then be included or improved upon in ATI chipsets). If either of these companies refuse to play along, they'll be the ones looking like they are stifling innovation in the market place.
All in all, it's a win/win for AMD, which needs to give up very little of its own technology to an opposing firm in these arrangements. The inside track will allow it to build up a considerably strong next suite of both processors and graphics cards, and allow the company to finally combat the bruising it's received from both the Core 2 and 8800 series of chips.
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