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AMD Drops ATI Brand Name

AMD will phase out the name ATI over the next year, three years after acquiring the company along with its cutting-edge graphics technology, as it continues on the path to Fusion.

CPU

Although its new video cards due at the end of this year will bear a new logo, AMD says it will keep the names of ATI's individual product lines, including FirePro and Radeon.

"The timing is right as far as we're concerned," an AMD spokesperson told The Register.

AMD bought ATI, originally known as Array Technologies, in 2006, and some VARs wonder why it took AMD so long to retire the ATI brand. According to one system builder, who requested anonymity, AMD's hesitation may have been due to the loyal following the ATI brand attracts in the microprocessor market.

With Fusion, AMD is trying to be the first chipmaker to integrate GPU and CPU technology, creating a more powerful graphics system. Intel is also working toward this goal, and the race to a viable product line should have the industry on the edge of its seats.

"AMD's integration of CPU and GPU technology sounds really exciting," said Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at system builder Nor-Tech, Burnsville, Minn. ATI labels feature prominently on a variety of hardware devices, including Mac computers. This move would give AMD greater visibility and exposure to consumers as it seeks to enhance the entertainment experience on a new platform. This is an important advantage, given who they are competing against.

Intel is not far behind, and Nvidia may expand in this direction as well. Now that AMD is finally getting the most out of ATI, it will be interesting to see how the other two companies respond, Swank said.

Several months ago, AMD began an organizational shuffle creating a new product group and further integrating ATI.

"The next generation of innovation in the computing industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics technologies," AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in a statement in May. "With these changes, we are putting the right organization in place to help enable the future of computing."

Advances in 3D and workstation graphics have paved the way for the development of accelerated processing units (APUs). The upcoming release of Fusion technology would bring together CPU and GPU and provide an opportunity to make use of ATI's advanced graphics technology.

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