After years of good marketing performance under AMD's wing, to the point where it currently holds 51.1% of the discrete graphics market, the ATI brand my see the end of its life, if the rumors suggesting that AMD is planning on dropping this brand turn out to be true.
While this may just be a case of an inflated rumor, there supposedly are reports saying that Advanced Micro Devices intends to stop using the ATI brand on its graphics products.
According to X-bit Labs
, AMD is supposedly contemplating this move on the grounds that dropping this brand would strengthen the 'AMD' brand itself.
X-bit Labs has already gone into detail on why this idea, which apparently came out of nowhere, would be less than fortuitous for the chip maker if it were followed.
For one, consumers are willing to pay for brands because they often correlate them with high quality, performance and experience.
Another thing about brands is that they are easily recognizable, which is why dropping the ATI, or the full ATI Radeon, from the name of AMD's graphics cards may lead to complications.
Were ATI a less known trademark, the move would, perhaps, actually work without any serious adverse reactions, but the fact remains that ATI has a history.
Ever since its founding, in 1985 (though it was called Array Technologies Inc.), it has been associated with multimedia and graphics processors. ATI also unveiled numerous so-called 'world's first' products during its lifetime.
On the other hand, now that Fusion-based APUs (accelerated processing units) are on the horizon, it would make sense for them to be sold under the AMD trademark.
All in all, dropping the ATI brand may not be a good idea because, in the end, AMD is known for microprocessors and not for graphics, while the reverse can be said about ATI.
Nevertheless, this is, in the end, just a rumor, so one should not forget about the obligatory grain of salt.