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Why I think the DRM and open source debate is nonsense

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  • #76
    Biggest question for AMD would be how integrated is the decryption stage to the rest of the hardware assist engine on the video playback portions of the chips?
    The integration is pretty tight for all the vendors -- it's how we get low CPU utilization and low power draw during video playback (yes, on that other operating system ). The question is to what extent we can expose one without the other. I'll know more once we get past 3d and shift focus to video acceleration.

    If you've mashed them together, this would be an example of a multi-billion dollar industry, that honestly doesn't provide the main source of your revenue for that product lineup, telling a multi-trillion dollar industry what to do.
    I'm pretty sure that the movie industry is *much* bigger than the GPU industry, although it is probably smaller than the PC industry as a whole. Let's see -- 2007 looks like $23B for DVD sales, $9.6B for box office sales (and probably $50B for popcorn and drinks ) so maybe $32B for movies, vs maybe $6-7B for graphics hardware ? The graphics $$ go up if you include boards built by third parties, but we only sell the chips so I would argue those revenues don't count.

    Video playback may not be the largest "driver of sales" but providing protected video paths is a requirement for Vista, and Vista is a requirement for OEM sales, and OEM sales are a requirement for ongoing success in the market. The challenge is how best to meet the non-negotiable requirements of the Windows market while not inconveniencing the Linux market. I think we have a plan that can do both, but it sure isn't as easy as it was back in the R200 days.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by bridgman View Post
      The challenge is how best to meet the non-negotiable requirements of the Windows market while not inconveniencing the Linux market. I think we have a plan that can do both, but it sure isn't as easy as it was back in the R200 days.
      I don't think there will ever be a good way, if they fail this time it will be for windows seven.
      Microsoft is known to put big efforts to make the hardware VISTA only.
      Microsoft will ever play this game, no matter how they act with novell.

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      • #78
        Well, I consider it a sad fact that there is hardware DRM in today's graphic cards (all of them).

        Having said that I don't actually care thaaaat much as long as I have the *choice* to not use it. The worst case would be the DRM being active all the time and "protecting" e.g. self-produced video (think Microsoft Zune, where *every* song gets squeezed into a DRM container). This, however, is not the case with the GPU DRM stuff and as long as it stays this unintrusive I can live with the DRM hardware units sitting in my computer, being busy with... nothing.

        If future ATI GPUs are designed so the video processing functionality can be used without even touching the DRM stuff things are perhaps as good as they can (realistically) get.

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