It's been an age long battle in the PC gaming world. ATI vs. NVidia. Not since the early days of 3DFX and the birth of the 3D acclerator card has there been two steadfast competitors for consumer hardware dollars. Sadly that battle is about to change again, after AMD's purchase of ATI in 2006, many wondered what would happen to the graphics maker. Since that time ATI has managed to snag over 50% of the discrete graphics market share with it's 5000 series of cards, mostly due to NVidia's rough showing of its FERMI series of processors.
Starting next year ATI will cease to be, instead the cards will rely mostly on the Radeon and FirePro name brands with additional AMD badging. You can see the new logos above.
As one might expect, a major motivator is the fact AMD plans to introduce a range of new products incorporating both AMD microprocessor technology and a Radeon graphics tech on the same chip. The first fruits of the CPU-GPU "Fusion" initiative are slated to arrive soon. "Ontario," which will combine two copies of the low-power "Bobcat" CPU core with Radeon graphics, is slated to ship before the end of the year. The more powerful "Llano" APU, which mates quad Phenom II-class CPU cores with presumably a more capable GPU, is scheduled for the first half of 2011. Obviously, the combination of the firm's CPU and GPU technologies into single-chip products could create some consumer confusion, if folks were to continue to think of AMD and ATI as separate entities—especially if the ensuing marketing messages emphasize the benefits of CPU-GPU integration.
Until the next battle...so long ATI!