SharkyExtreme.com: Industry Interview with Terry Makedon, ATI Technologies Inc.
Here is our latest in a series of interviews with industry company executives, PR persons and general know-it-alls. The unique feature of this series is that you, our readers, are the ones asking the questions. In the spotlight today is Terry Makedon , the Group Manager of Software and Video Marketing for ATI's Desktop Division, who will be answering your questions - which mainly focus ATI's software, drivers and Crossfire.
In ATI's own words, here is who they are and what they do:
"Founded in 1985, ATI Technologies Inc. is a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia products for desktop, workstation and notebook PCs, digital televisions, cell phones and game consoles."
Aurora asks: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what your job role is at ATI?
Terry Makedon: I'm Terry Makedon, the Group Manager of Software and Video Marketing for ATI's Desktop division (i.e. the Radeon brand).
Aurora asks: How long have you been with ATI?
Terry Makedon: Well, it feels like a few months, but time flies when you are having fun. I've been with ATI over five years now.
Aurora asks: Can you give us a bit of a summary on what your job role is at ATI?
Terry Makedon: I'm responsible for defining what the future holds for ATI's Catalyst drivers and Avivo video playback technology for our Radeon desktop graphics products. Part of this role includes educating people on the capabilities and features of these products.
SharkyForum Readers Want to Know... Drivers and Software
mrsinster asks: Will ATI ever release a user level development kit for their video cards that will allow the hardcore users to tinker with the internal working of the GPU?
Terry Makedon: It's unlikely, because the investment in a GPU is huge - from research and development to engineering. It wouldn't be smart business to invest many millions of dollars on a chip and then expose that proprietary information to the public and our competitors. If companies exposed this type of information it would very quickly put them out of business and ultimately hinder us from pushing the technology and performance forward.
I4one asks: Are there any plans for ATI release the hardware specifications of their GPUs to allow the Open Source community to create drivers?
Terry Makedon: Again, we can't open up our drivers or we'd give up our architecture secrets and competitive information. The only way we can have achieve the high performance our users have come to expect is to keep it proprietary.
mrsinster asks: Will we ever see a flashable chipset on a motherboard that contains the drivers to eliminate the need for CDs?
Terry Makedon: Good suggestion. To be honest I have never thought of that one, but it might be something worth considering.
Nictius asks: Third-party drivers are much more prevalent for ATI than NVidia. Why do you think this is so? What is ATI's take on these drivers and the groups who maintain them?
Terry Makedon: It is likely, because ATI has, as a whole, embraced the "modding" community and we encouraged these groups to continue working on "mod" drivers for ATI. We even have a invited some of these individuals to participate in Catalyst beta releases.
I4one asks: Will ATI develop their architecture for OpenGL or remain focused on D3D only?
Terry Makedon: We continue to work on redesigning parts of our OpenGL driver. It still remains very important in workstation and design-type applications (i.e. CAD, DCC, etc). And of course, there are a few games that use OpenGL. We are planning to release some new OpenGL code later this year that will be the result of this effort.
Kero-chan asks: Does ATI plan to bring all aspects of HDTV into a single product (specifically HDMI/component input and cable card?) If so, would you expect this product to be for Win XP or Vista?
Terry Makedon: While we cannot discuss unreleased products and features, it is safe to say that Windows Vista is a big opportunity for ATI, in that it makes dedicated high performance graphics matter to everyone, not only gamers. With this in mind, Microsoft's new operating system is of high importance to ATI and it would make sense that this is reflected in our upcoming features and products.