Back in August new AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said that the company was “just months away” from spinning off its manufacturing and fabrication business into its own company and this morning it’s official.
The new company, temporarily named the Foundry Company, will be free to manufacture independently for other companies while AMD focuses on chip design.
AMD retains 44% ownership in the Foundry Company and each will assume $1.2 billion of AMD’s debt.
Also announced was that Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) would inject at least $6 billion into the two companies, mostly to finance a new chip factory in Saratoga, New York, as well as to upgrade one of the Foundry Company’s existing plants in Dresden, Germany.
The investment will give ATIC a majority stake in the Foundry Company with 55.6 percent of its shares.
After spending years making, among other things, chipset for Intel and AMD-based platforms, VIA has announced that it is leaving that business and instead will focus on their own processors and associated platforms like the upcoming OpenBook.
Richard Brown, vice president of marketing for VIA, says that “one of the main reasons we originally moved into the x86 processor business was because we believed that ultimately the third party chipset market would disappear and we would need to have the capability to provide a complete platform.”
New AMD CEO Dirk Meyer has said that the company was “just months away” from spinning off their manufacturing and fabrication business into a separate company and if a new story at TG Daily is correct that it might be happening even sooner.
According to their sources, an announcement is planned for next month for their Asset Light and Asset Smart initiatives and former CEO Hector Ruiz, currently the boards chair, may play a big role…and probably take a big salary and bonus if he stays true to form.
Looks like we can expect more info pretty soon so stay tuned…
I wouldn’t exactly call Microsoft Windows XP a speed demon. Sure, compare it to Vista on the same hardware and in relative terms its fast, but on its own…eh.
So what do you suppose it would be like running Windows XP on OLPC’s tiny XO PC with an AMD Geode LX-700 processor, 256MB of RAM and a 4GB flash drive?
If you guessed painfully slow it seems you’ve nailed it.
Laptop Mag got there hands on one and put it through some tests and here are some highlights of what they found:
- Boot time: 1 minute and 24 seconds
- Opening PowerPoint: 15 seconds
- Oopening Word 2003: 42 seconds
Once you get an application running you’d be best to concentrate on that one as running more than one application at once makes things even slower; it’s not really a multi-tasker.
No real surprises, honestly. Terrible? No, not really, but not for everyone. I think I would kill myself if I had to use that everyday.
For some more details or to see a couple of videos of XP on the XO in action check out this post.
AMD has announced a new video card for PCs and Macs called the ATI Radeon HD 3870, the first card in its 3000-series for Macs as well as the first to support both platforms. Not two different cards, one card for both.
Mac users will need a Mac Pro to be able to use it (sorry, won’t fit into a Mini or iMac).
Specs of the card will include:
- 320 stream (pixel and vertex) processors
- Improved power usage
- Support for new shader effects (DirectX 10.1 for Windows, OpenGL 2.0 for Macs)
- Dual-link DVI ports able to handle 30-inch displays
- S-Video in
Look for it to ship later this month for $219.
When you think of the processor inside of a UMPC, you probably think of a chip by Via or Intel–after all, it’s their processors that are powering Asus Eee PC’s and the MSI Wind.
Visitors at the AMD booth today at Computex Taipei found out that AMD is working on their own solution to allow UMPC makers to produce an AMD-based system.
There aren’t a whole lot of details out right now, but a company called Malata is currently building a system using an unknown AMD chip which is presumably part of AMD’s new solution.
Look for systems using this new AMD hardware in the second half of this year with a price of less than $400.
Earlier this month when Microsoft released SP3 for Windows XP, users with an HP computer that had an AMD processor found a tiny problem when their computer would enter an endless reboot cycle.
The problem seems to have stemmed from some Intel drivers having been installed on the systems as part of the factory load. HP has been working on a fix for this and has work around info posted here, but Microsoft has offered up its own work around: block SP3 for HP users with an AMD chip.
Hopefully a better solution will be available soon from either HP or Microsoft. I guess HP didn’t do any testing with SP3 on their machines before it was released? Oops.
Microsoft’s recently released SP3 for their Windows XP operating system seems to be creating some problems for some users trying to use their computer after installing it.
According to a post in Microsoft’s support forum, some users installing SP3 are finding themselves in an endless cycle of rebooting. Computers with this problem seem to have one thing in common: an AMD processor.
According to Jesper Johansson, former program manager for security policy at Microsoft, there are two separate issues going on.
The first issue affects HP computers with AMD processors and has to do with a power management drive file called intelppm.sys. HP (among others) uses the same base image for their Intel-based and AMD-based computers. When this file is install and running it generally isn’t a problem, except during the first reboot after a service pack installation where it causes the machine to either fail to boot or crash and immediately reboot.
The second issue, also seeming to affect only AMD users, involves an error about the computers BIOS though the BIOS is not likely a problem. Johansson says that it may be related to computers with the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard but he can’t say for sure.
Thankfully, Johansson has posted a workaround for each of these two problems. To fix the first issue you’ll need to disable the intelppm.sys file, while users with the second issue will need to plug in a USB flash drive before booting.
AMD has announced plans to add a few more cores to their server-level Opteron CPUs, specifically a 6-core chip code-named ‘Istanbul’, another 6-core chip code-named ‘Sao Paulo’, and a 12-core chip code-named ‘Magny-Cours’, each based on a new platform they’re referring to as ‘Maranello’.
The company’s previous plans for an 8-core chip (a.k.a. ‘Montreal’ ) based on their ‘Barcelona’ platform has been cancelled, saying that the 12-core Maranello-based chips will be easier to manufacturer.
6-core Istanbul chips are scheduled to be released in the second half of 2009, the 6-core Sao Paulo in 2010, and the 12-core Magny-Cours also in 2010.
According to AMD vice president and general manager Randy Allen, the 12-core chip will include two 6-core processors, each in separate chips but in the same processor package.
[Via New York Times]
Supercomputer pioneer Cray announced that they would be working with Intel to together advance supercomputers.
Cray will help Intel develop the technology for clusters as well as to improve in-processor technology while Cray will begin using Intel processors for their supercomputers, replacing, among others, chips by Intel’s main rival AMD and their Opteron chips.