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Sony Delays Blu-Ray Disc Player Again

AMD Completes ATI Acquisition And Creates Processing Powerhouse

Sony Delays Blu-Ray Disc Player Again

In news coming out of Japan this week, Sony has apparently delayed again the release of its stand-alone BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc player to December or possibly not till 2007. The player was scheduled to due to arrive on retailers shelves this week. Originally, the BDP-S1 was due out in July, but was postponed until August, then to October 25. Apparently, the delay seems to have been a strategic decision that is based on availability of blue laser diode supplies rather than any trouble with the player -- unlike the problems that Samsung has recently encountered. As early as a year ago, it was speculated by several journalists and industry insiders that Sony would have problems delivering both PS3 and a stand-alone Blu-ray Disc player. Not surprisingly, the Blu-ray diode used in the BDP-S1 is the same one used in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, which is set for release on November 17. According to experts and analysts in Consumer Electronics, there simply doesn't seem to be enough parts to go around.

Certainly, in the hierarchy of products in the extensive Sony line-up of products, the PlayStation 3 ranks much higher than the BDP-S1 in terms of expected sales. It clearly appears that Sony is reserving its Blu-ray diode supply for PlayStation 3 at the expense of movie buffs, early adopters, and those who want movies in high-definition resolution of 1080p. According to the recent announcements by Sony, it now plans to have only 400,000 PlayStation 3 consoles ready for sale in North America alone on the release date, which is less than half of its original sales projections. While the company hopes to be able to ship over one million units by the end of the holiday season, it seems unlikely at this point. Of course, on the other hand, the gaming industry feels that 400,000 consoles will not be nearly enough to satisfy demand.

The delay of the Sony BDP-S1 will clearly affect Blu-ray movie sales this holiday season. While companies like Panasonic, Pioneer and Philips are still expected to also have players out sometime this Fall, Sony's delay will have a ripple effect across the board. The impact of the delay is well beyond Sony to electronic stores and movie retailers and to Hollywood studios that hoped for big sales of Blu-ray DVD titles. And, let's not forgot the benefit that this might hold for Toshiba and the HD DVD camp.

While Sony isn't the only manufacturer of Blu-ray players, it is one of the main proponents of the technology. According to industry journal Video Business, "Retailers were already expecting a shortage of Blu-ray and HD DVD players this shopping season, and at least one studio, Warner Home Video, had recently cut its sales projection in half for high-def movies." The delay of the Sony BDP-S1 will only make situation worse.

Source: EETimes

AMD Completes ATI Acquisition And Creates Processing Powerhouse

AMD today announced the completion of its approximately $5.4 billion acquisition of ATI Technologies Inc. Combining the complementary strengths of the two companies, the new AMD opens for business with approximately 15,000 employees.

According to the press release, customers should benefit from AMD’s and ATI’s combined platform development and technical support teams, which will be co-located in Taipei and Shanghai. Combined with the existing Austin and Toronto locations, these sites offer research and development and support to provide customers with a complete solution for optimized platform development.

AMD plans to deliver a range of integrated platforms in 2007 to serve key markets, including: commercial clients; mobile computing; and gaming and media computing. PC users will benefit from innovations intended to extend battery life on the next-generation AMD Turion 64 mobile technology-based platform and enhancements to the AMD LIVE! digital media PC platform that will enable users to get more from their favorite photos, music, and movies. AMD believes that these integrated platform innovations will bring customers improved system stability, better time-to-market, increased performance and energy-efficiency and overall, an enhanced user experience.

AMD also sees an opportunity to deliver processing solutions to the growing consumer electronics market. The company intends to leverage ATI’s strength in the consumer market by pursuing new opportunities to invest in the consumer electronics and high-end discrete graphics markets.

AMD plans to create a new class of x86 processor that integrates the central processing unit and graphics processing unit at the silicon level with a broad set of design initiatives collectively codenamed “Fusion.” AMD intends to design Fusion processors to provide step-function increases in performance-per-watt relative to today’s CPU-only architectures. With Fusion processors, AMD will continue to promote an open platform and encourage companies throughout the ecosystem to create innovative new co-processing solutions aimed at further optimizing specific workloads. AMD-powered Fusion platforms will continue to fully support high-end discrete graphics, physics accelerators, and other PCI Express-based solutions.

Fusion processors are expected in late 2008/early 2009, and the company expects to use them within all of the company’s priority computing categories, including laptops, desktops, workstations and servers, as well as in consumer electronics and solutions tailored for the unique needs of emerging markets.

And about the transaction details. Under the terms of the transaction, AMD acquired all of the outstanding common shares of ATI for a combination of approximately $4.3 billion in cash and 58 million shares of AMD common stock, based on the number of shares of ATI common stock outstanding on October 24, 2006. All outstanding options and restricted stock units (RSUs) of ATI were assumed. The value of the ATI acquisition of approximately $5.4 billion is based upon the closing stock price of AMD common stock on October 24, 2006 of $20.32 per share and excludes the value of assumed equity awards. AMD financed the cash portion of the transaction with a combination of cash and new debt. AMD obtained a $2.5 billion term loan from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., which, together with combined existing cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances of approximately $1.8 billion, provided full funding for the transaction.

AMD announced the final pro-ration applicable to ATI common shares in the acquisition. The total consideration to be paid for each common share, based on the Parent Closing Stock Price (as defined in the Plan of Arrangement, as amended), is approximately $21.36. The final election results indicate that pro-ration is as follows: ATI shareholders who elected to receive cash will be entitled to receive, for each common share for which a valid cash election was made, approximately US $18.59 in cash plus approximately 0.1245 of a share of AMD common stock; ATI shareholders who elected to receive stock will be entitled to receive, for each common share for which a valid stock election was made, 0.9596 of a share of AMD common stock; and ATI shareholders who did not make a valid election will be entitled to receive, for each share for which no valid election was made, 0.9596 of a share of AMD common stock. Pro-ration was necessary because the cash consideration elected to be received exceeded the amount of cash available in the acquisition. Any fractional shares will be paid in cash.

Source: AMD

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