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AMD and ATI fuse

Acquisition complete, CPUs to become integrated chipsets

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AMD has completed its purchase of ATI. It spent $4.3bn in cash and 58m AMD shares on the graphics chip company, taking on $2.5bn in debt to help pay for it all. Farewell, the ATI, retained only as a product brand.

And with acquisition comes integration. AMD said it plans to announce a number of platforms next year that will combine its processor technology with ATI's GPU designs, as Intel Centrino-like platforms.

Beyond that, in the 2008/2009 timeframe will come Fusion: the integration of GPU into CPU. It's a logical move: AMD has already brought key North Bridge chip components on board the CPU, and now it's the turn of the integrated graphics core.

It'll tout the strategy's benefits for power conservation and enhanced CPU functionality to pitch the integrated products at mobile applications and related systems, such as zero-noise living-room media centres. However, it was quick to point out that Fusion wil not impede AMD's newly acquired discrete GPU business.

The plan may help AMD win more customers in the consumer electronics space, in addition to the ones ATI was already supplying with TV-oriented chips. By the same token, AMD is now a major mobile phone chip player. Yesterday, it wasn't. ®

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