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Thread: Intel Acquires Creative's ZiiLabs (3DLabs)

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    Default Intel Acquires Creative's ZiiLabs (3DLabs)

    Phoronix: Intel Acquires Creative's ZiiLabs (3DLabs)

    It's been announced this morning that Intel is acquiring ZiiLabs, the subsidiary of Creative Labs that previously was 3DLabs. Intel is gaining "certain engineering resources and assets" plus licensing rights to certain ZiiLabs patents and other technologies surrounding the GPU...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTIzMjk

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    http://www.creative.com/corporate/pr....asp?pid=13300

    So intel does not acquire whole ziilabs, ziilabs will still be creative's after the deal. Ziilabs makes arm devises, which I don't think that intel is interested about. Maybe more like graphics portfolio patents and engineers.

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    I don't get it - is buying out ZiiLabs really more cost effective than intel just doing the work themselves? This is my problem with companies like intel and microsoft - they're filthy rich and have a pointlessly large staff yet they can't make a product to compete on their own? Seriously, while intel's latest IGPs are decent, it took way too long for a company that powerful to get something just considered adequate.

    As for Creative, them doing poorly is 100% their fault. It was naiive of them to expect integrated audio to never be good enough. They had PLENTY of chances to get their products to be integrated in motherboards but I've only heard of maybe 3 motherboards that ever used their products. Audio is one of those things where it's almost as good as it can get - there could be a point where there won't be any new audio controllers, just revisions of the same controller to be cheaper and more power efficient. It won't take long for integrated audio to be better or as good as some of Creative's best cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    As for Creative, them doing poorly is 100% their fault. It was naiive of them to expect integrated audio to never be good enough. They had PLENTY of chances to get their products to be integrated in motherboards but I've only heard of maybe 3 motherboards that ever used their products. Audio is one of those things where it's almost as good as it can get - there could be a point where there won't be any new audio controllers, just revisions of the same controller to be cheaper and more power efficient. It won't take long for integrated audio to be better or as good as some of Creative's best cards.
    I believe they started it in 1998 by killing Aureal (and pretty much all of the 3D audio market) and Microsoft helped by killing DS3D in Vista.
    When there is a single audio device that has the tech it should be expected it won't be used too much.

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    I think Creative dug their hole when they made OpenAL proprietary. They thought that the fact alone that they are releasing EAX 5-capable hardware will be enough for people to license OpenAL as well, but the plan backfired. Also, considering their infamous driver quality, yeah...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    I think Creative dug their hole when they made OpenAL proprietary. They thought that the fact alone that they are releasing EAX 5-capable hardware will be enough for people to license OpenAL as well, but the plan backfired. Also, considering their infamous driver quality, yeah...
    What are you talking about.

    Creative still has some of the best sound cards in the market; Asus's Xonar does not even come close. Especially true if you plan on a high-end home cinema setup (we're talking at least a 5.1 speaker setup minimum) based around a Windows HTPC.

    Also their drivers are rather decent in Windows-land.

    BTW, i used a Creative Zii tablet before (one that featured its own Zii processor). All I can say is that the processor is downright horrible at general-purpose tasks (it can't even scroll the Android home screen without stuttering like crazy!) but throw it a bunch of multimedia-centric tasks and it flies like a champ. Based on my experience, I'm guessing that Intel acquired ZiiLabs purely for their GPU technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    What are you talking about.

    Creative still has some of the best sound cards in the market; Asus's Xonar does not even come close. Especially true if you plan on a high-end home cinema setup (we're talking at least a 5.1 speaker setup minimum) based around a Windows HTPC.
    Then why do all benchmarks show the Xonar's performing better?

    Besides, high-end cinema setups use digital audio which performs identically regardless of the audio card. Ergo, discrete cards are no better than integrated Realtek chips.

    Also their drivers are rather decent in Windows-land.
    I call bullshit on that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    BTW, i used a Creative Zii tablet before (one that featured its own Zii processor). All I can say is that the processor is downright horrible at general-purpose tasks (it can't even scroll the Android home screen without stuttering like crazy!) but throw it a bunch of multimedia-centric tasks and it flies like a champ. Based on my experience, I'm guessing that Intel acquired ZiiLabs purely for their GPU technology.
    You sure that's not just crappy sw? I've yet to see a smooth Android, on any cpu, on any gpu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    Also their drivers are rather decent in Windows-land.
    Hah, if only. They have caused me countless BSoDs. And when recording the audio, it keeps crackling like crazy. Plus, the X-Fi control panel doesn't have some of the more important features of previous generation sound cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    What are you talking about.

    Creative still has some of the best sound cards in the market; Asus's Xonar does not even come close. Especially true if you plan on a high-end home cinema setup (we're talking at least a 5.1 speaker setup minimum) based around a Windows HTPC.
    The problem isn't whether or not they can process sound better than anyone else. The problem is that there is no longer any application for an audio processor. If you're running an HTPC and looking for a super high-end audio experience, your HTPC is going to (hopefully) be outputting completely unmolested digital audio to whatever high end audio system you happen to have.

    Also their drivers are rather decent in Windows-land.
    Who in their right mind gives a rat's ass about wondoze-land? MS is slowly dying. They are NOT the biggest OS maker any more. Linux devices (including Android) outsell wondoze 25 to 1. The only thing still holding MS together at all, is desktop PC's, which are slowly fading away for general use replaced with phones, tablets, and htpcs, most of which run Android/Linux. Power users may still need desktop PC's, but power users are more likely to need a proper functional operating system than mswondoze.

    BTW, i used a Creative Zii tablet before (one that featured its own Zii processor). All I can say is that the processor is downright horrible at general-purpose tasks (it can't even scroll the Android home screen without stuttering like crazy!) but throw it a bunch of multimedia-centric tasks and it flies like a champ. Based on my experience, I'm guessing that Intel acquired ZiiLabs purely for their GPU technology.
    Not too many devices run on Creative GPUs. I'm going to guess that Intel is in this in order to break their dependence on powervr for low power chips. If they get the right IP, they may be able to actually support these devices rather than being tied by the balls by powervr bastards.

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