AMD to Acquire ATI

Some rumors do turn out to be true. AMD has announced that it will acquire ATI for nearly $5.4 billion in cash and stock. In trading, ATYT is up almost 20%, while AMD is down almost 5%. The repercussions of this should be fairly large. I keep reading that this will be good for consumers, but I'm not necessarily convinced that's the case. We used to have Intel and AMD competing aggressively in one market and then ATI and nVidia competing aggressively in another. This move could polarize things, which could actually decrease choice and competition, which is rarely good for consumers. Many questions are being raised – how will this impact Apple (who uses ATI for GPU and Intel for CPU), how will this impact nVidia (who sold quite well in the AMD market and will have to compete with Intel itself in the low end Intel GPU market) and will AMD try to move to an on core GPU processor. All of these are interesting questions, but not the ones I am concerned with. What I want to know, and what I haven't seen getting much coverage, is how will this move impact how GPU providers look at Open Source. ATI and nVidia have traditionally been extremely tight lipped about specs and have had either little or no Open Source support for their latest cutting edge chipsets. Will AMD take a different look at the market and provide Open Source Linux drivers for ATI-based products? Only time can tell but if they did, it would be interesting to see how it changes the GPU landscape in general and how nVidia, specifically, responds. Maybe this will be good for consumers after all.
–jeremy
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