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?”


  • “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?”


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