Dave Orton (ATI) speaks at Whistler conference:

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by Joe DeFuria, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. Joe DeFuria


    Feb 6, 2002
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    Can't say I've ever heard of this conference before....but anyway:


    (Click on the Whistler Logo, then you can find the audio of Orton presentation in the 11:30 AM time slot).

    Nothing earth shattering, but a few notable comments: (Edit..OK...more than a few...)

    * They are transforming from a "PC" company to a broad-reaching "PC plus consumer" company. (PDAs, Cell-phones, set-top, Automobile Video...)

    * Numer on priority in past two years has been to go after technology leadership in the high end in PC space. Believes they have achieved this with the R-300 and its "Cinematic Rendering". Going forward 3-5 years, will focus on advancing the programability / shading capability

    * Stresses importance of timing in the PC market with fall and spring cycles.

    * Stresses importance of introducing technology at the high end to demonstrate leadership, and then pushing it down to the low-end with a cost leading part.

    * Stresses importance of partnerships with fabs and ISVs.

    * Branding is also key.

    * Identifies integrated core-logic chipset market as the fastest growing PC market "by far." Believes they are in a very good position to go after this market.

    * Going beyond the PC...emerging/growth markets include:
    Set-top and digital chip integration with TVs.
    Digital phones / PDAs
    Game consoles

    Where is ATI positioned in each of these markets for 2H '03 and '04?

    * In the PC market, trying to stetch out a high-end part for one year can be "painful" during the 2nd half of the cycle. So they are ready with a spring follow-up to the R300. Brand new wave of products over the next month from notebook through desktop range:

    * Mmentions the R350 code name for the new high-end part.

    * Mentions RV350 by name as driving the DX9 tech into the "performance mainstream" segment.

    * Mentions bringing DX8 and AGP 8X into the value / mobile segment. (Does not mention RV280 code name though.)

    * New integrated chipset solutions coming in the "back-half" of '03. Should be twice the performance (in terms of 3DMarks) than anyone else.

    * Pretty much finished the transition from board to chip company.

    * For 2nd half '03 and '04, believes they are on a path for being in a leadership position in the hand-held chipset market. Specifically mentions smart-phones, and a very low power / high capability part. They have some wins and are doing some rampup right now?

    * Wants to turn digital TV business finally into a "reality". Imediately. They have a few design wins (set-top?) that are shipping, but not really impacting bottom line. Have design wins in TVs (36" and larger) for this year, but the real volume will be in the lower size sets, which is a huge growth opportunity.

    * The entry into the integreated desktop chipset market will happen in Summer '03.

    *** Q&A highlights ***

    * Q: How is margin improvement going?
    * a: Believes they were overly aggressive in terms of what they "could do" with the Radeon 8500 in the Spring of '02. Taking inventory write-downs at end of Q1. FireGL team is now working completely on ATI FireGL products. Notebook segment has been most challenging...haven't been able to command the price they'd like for the parts with integrated memory. Need to put pressure on reducing costs...and on marketing to NOT SELL the integrated memory products if the customer doesn't want it. Anticipates cost reduction measures to be complete over next quarter or so.

    * Q: about integrated chips...
    * A: Don't expect 30-40% market share in one quarter. ;) ATI expects to leverage advances in the south bridge. Reasonable to expect maybe 10% market share penetration in a quarter or two after penetration starts in summer 2003.

    * Q: What about Intel Centrino?
    * A: Room for Visualization in the notebook platform. ATI works with intel to basically provide complimentary tech: Centrino is more focuses on power consuming tech...lighter and smaller notebooks. ATI tech is seen as a better fit for more fully featured notebook. ATI new notebook integration part shipping in the spring.

    * Q: Hard to hear it...seemed to be about how to approach nVidia as competition: either by delivering "death-blow" tech in the PC space, or beat them by more diversification?
    * A: ATI has tried for 4 years to "capture the flag", and they've now done that with the 9700. They are trying to turn around the high-end in a 6 month cycle...lower end is longer: 12 to 24 months even. Thinks ATI may have even invested a bit "too early" in non PC market hurting them in the past, but believes it has positioned itself better at this time because of it. They do expect more growth to return to the PC space, around 30%, but certinaly not anything like 70% that it's been in the past, and they need to get into other growth markets. ATI is getting into 2 more segments that they can't talk about yet.

    * Q: Opportunities with MS and X-Box?
    * A: Lots of opportunities with MS and any device with their OSes. They are competing for the next-gen MS console, but can't comment further on it.
  2. megadrive0088


    Jul 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Thank you for posting this. im going to listen to it ASAP if possible.

    i like hearing Orton speak about graphics. i actually have some respect for the guy unlike Nvidia's CEO.

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