The End of Speed, Part II? . . .

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To put it mildly, both video companies have been having problems getting the next generation of product out.

AMD/ATI hasn’t been able to get its stuff out at all, while nVidia has only released a top-end item.

Why so? Well, both companies have suddenly gotten very gung-ho on process shrinks. ATI literally pulled the plug on 80nm and suddenly went to 65nm, and just as suddenly is working with 55nm.

After they did that, all of a sudden nVidia didn’t like their brand-new 80nm anymore, and started talking up soon-to-come 55nm processes. Then they delayed some of their 80nm parts because there was a bug that wouldn’t let them throttle down power while in 2D mode.

A very good rule of thumb when a company all of a sudden does something unexpected is not because they want to but because they have to.

Really, which is more believable:

  • A company is ready to release a product using X, then suddenly everyone decides, “I feel bold and innovative today! Let’s junk what we’ve spent the last six months working on, take a big sales hit, and come up with something better?”

    or

  • “What are all these steaming puddles on the lab floor? Oh, that’s our GPU dip. Our chips be frying, not flying.”

    I think the GPUers have hit the heat wall, and the story over the next few years will be, “How do they deal with it, and what happens while they try?”

    Ed


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