Αποκλειστική συνέντευξη: Ο Terry Makedon στο GHz.gr

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Το GHz.gr είχε την ευκαιρία να πάρει μία αποκλειστική συνέντευξη στον γνωστό ως Mr. Catalyst, Ελληνικής Καταγωγής Terry Makedon, τον Manager of Software Product Management της AMD και υπέυθυνο της σουίτας drivers της εταιρείας ATI Catalyst. Στην μικρή αυτή συνέντευξη ο κος. Terry Makedon σχολιάζει τις εξελίξεις στην αγορά με την έλευση του DirectX 11 και του συμβατού hardware από την AMD.

Σχολιάζει επίσης ορισμένες από τις κινήσεις των Intel και Nvidia και φυσικά μοιράζεται μαζί μας πολλά, πολλά πράγματα για την σουίτα ATI Catalyst και τις μελλοντικές της εκδόσεις.

Ας προχωρήσουμε στην συνέντευξη, αφού επισημάνουμε ότι πραγματοποιήθηκε στην Αγγλική γλώσσα (συγχωρέστε μας όποια λάθη ;- ) .

GHz.gr: Hello Mr. Terry Makedon, i would like to thank you on behalf of GHz.gr staff for this interview. It is always a pleasure to talk to you. Will you please, introduce your self, for our fellow GHz.gr readers?

Terry Makedon: Please call me Lefteri Wink It is my great pleasure to speak to you and talk about some of our common interests like 3D and GPU’s. I do many interviews for my job but none make me as happy as being able to conduct an interview for Greece which is my home country. I was born in Thessaloniki, and lived there until I was 2 years old then moved to Toronto Canada. I moved back to Thessaloniki again for 3 years for high school. Then I moved back to Canada, but I do come to Greece almost every summer. I will be there again in July/August of this year with my baby boy who was born in May 2009. I want him to meet all my family (most of who all still live in Greece)

I have been with ATI/AMD for 9 years now and I am the Manager of Software Product Management. This means that me and my team are responsible for the roadmap and delivery of Catalyst drivers (and all other software for Radeon products)

GHz.gr: With the new, ATI Radeon HD 5000 series, AMD has made quite an impression to the market. First of all, AMD managed to produce a whole new DirectX 11 line of products a lot earlier than Nvidia, and not only that, but AMD has managed to provide the market with the fastest graphics cards around. Which are the key elements in your opinion to achieve something like that, to be in front of the competition?

Terry Makedon: I don’t really know why Nvidia has problems to deliver DX11 hardware – I think you need to ask them. For us we had a target – Windows 7 launch and availability of DX11 to users. We knew that target for a long time and we said as a company that we WILL have DX11 hardware available the day that DX11 is available to gamers. We also worked with game companies to make sure that DX11 games were available as well. We now have a full family of DX11 GPU’s from the highest end 5970 to the lowest end 5450, and Nvidia has well.. not even one yet!

GHz.gr: Which feature of the new line of products of AMD you like the most? Is it DirectX 11 support or maybe ATI Eyefinity? Is it something else maybe?

Terry Makedon: The three most important things in the HD5xxx products are DirectX11 support, Eyefinity and ATI Stream. There is no way to pick one that I like the most because I really do think they are all very cool. DirectX11 makes my games look better and run faster, Stream makes applications like video transcoding faster, and Eyefinity just makes the whole computing experience much bigger and more fun.

GHz.gr: I know you are not supposed to comment or talk about unannounced AMD products, but It is rummored, that the code name of AMD's future architecture of GPUs is "Hecatoncheires", the monsters of Greek mythology, and that the code names of future ATI Radeon GPUs are Briareus or Aigaion, Cottus and Gyges or Gyes. It is also rummored that the naming scheme is probably your idea. Any comments?

Terry Makedon: I read about that rumor on the internet as well. For sure it did not come from me (I wish it did). The funny thing is that I don’t even know our codenames at work, I have to read about them on the internet just like everyone else Wink I focus so much on software that code names of the hardware is something I just don’t listen to. Interestingly enough, one of our product managers did name his RV770 boards in tribute to Greece so there was a Sparta board, and a Makedon board also Wink

GHz.gr: As you have probably allready know, Intel has recently announced that the company will not produce "silicon" for the first series of "Larrabee" GPUs because Intel wasn't satisfied - at least this is one of the reasons we know - with the performance. Will you please comment Intel's decision?

Terry Makedon: I know as much as what has been disclosed publicly. Building a GPU is very complicated and I guess they ran into issues which caused them to delay their products. I am not sure if it was based purely on hardware or on software as well, because really a GPU driver is very hard to make with millions of lines of code.

GHz.gr: Nvidia will announce sometime in the near future the availability of the new DirectX 11 line of GPUs based on the "Fermi" architecture. Allthough it is believed that the new "Fermi" GPUs will be really fast (gaming performance, Directx 11 support etc.) it is also said that it has impressive GPU-compute cappabilities and that these will be the first GPUs in history to run C++ code. I mean to implement ISA inside the GPU needs lot of bravery. Do you think AMD will implement a feature like this to the future ATI Radeon GPUs?

Terry Makedon: We will implement whatever end users find useful. We will not implement something that is not needed and is not being used by software companies. Of course I cant say what the hardware roadmap looks like, but we feel good about ours!

GHz.gr: You are behind the ATI Catalyst driver suite for, correct me if i am wrong, almost 9 years now. Can you please, give us a view of things you have managed to bring to ATI (AMD) since you began to work for the company and to the customers of course, those nine years of hard work, with the release of the ATI Catalyst drive suite. Which are those things that distinguishes your team's work from the competition?

Terry Makedon: Yes you are correct, it has been 9 years that I have been at ATI. First as Product Manager, then Senior Product Manager, and now Manager of Product Management. When I first came here the ATI drivers were not very good. There was no release schedule, there was no full testing, and there no full support of all versions of Windows. The fist thing we looked at is to get internal process in place so we have good QA and testing. The most important things about GPU drivers is that they are tested a lot. Many machines, many operating systems, many products, thousands of hours of testing every day. We then decided that we can let people know that our drivers are good and that is when we baptized them as “Catalyst”. An interesting story is that at that time (end of 2001, beginning of 2002), I wanted to call them the “Zeus” drivers, because of course Zeus is the most powerful of all Wink

So now we are at a point where we have the industry’s only public commitment to driver updates. Every month we promise to have a new Catalyst driver that is fully Microsoft certified (WHQL), and every month we will provide new bug fixes, new performance and new features.

GHz.gr: Allthough, i believe you are doing an excellent job Wink there are no perfect driver suites out there - at least at the beginning - so when you have to create a new driver release, meaning the ATI Catalyst driver suite of course, for a new generation of graphic cards, like the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series, are you and your team focusing on something specific? What is the main goal, performance, stability, compatibility?

Terry Makedon: Always stability first. I will not accept that the GPU driver is the cause for a PC crash or blue screen. We do heavily focus on stability because you have to get that good right at the beginning. Thinks like performance can improve through time, but with stability you have only one chance with a customer. If the PC crashes, then that customer thinks your product (Radeon and Catalyst) are not good.

GHz.gr: What is your primary source of input for performance issues, stability problems or even bugs? Can you also share with us something memorable from the development of the new ATI Catalyst driver suite? Maybe the discovery of a greek... bug like Skylla in The Odyssey or something (that you have... elliminated and destroyed of course)... Smile

Terry Makedon: Primary source is our QA department. Secondary source is forums, our tech support department, beta testers, journalists like yourself, end users and even blogs we have on our website. If our QA doesn’t catch the bug then we make sure we find out why they didn’t catch it and they update their test plans so that doesn’t happen again. One of my favorite stories about bugs is when I first started working here, I was playing a game that was a bit old and not very popular (I think it was called Capitalism). I had some corruption in that game, so I told our engineers that it needed fixing immediately. The same day they had found the bug and build a test driver. That same night I took the driver home and continued to play my game with no problems. That is the day I realized that I had a very cool job, and had some benefits to it Wink

GHz.gr: How do you compare the early stages of the development process of the ATI Catalyst driver suite for the Windows 7 operating system and those stages for the Windows Vista operating system?

Terry Makedon: Oh much easier. Vista was a brand new driver architecture that took us many years of coding to develop and architect. Windows7 is just a small upgrade to the GPU driver model so it wasn’t that hard. I don’t have exact numbers but I would say Vista was probably 20 times more work than Windows7 was.

GHz.gr: Is there anything you would like to say to our GHz.gr fellow readers and to the users about the future releases of the ATI Catalyst driver suite and about the new year? (εδώ ο Λευτέρης, απαντάει στα Ελληνικά).

Terry Makedon: Οι εκδόσεις των Catalyst 10.2 και Catalyst 10.3 θα αποτελούν πολύ μεγάλες αναβαθμίσεις με πάρα πολλά νέα χαρακτηριστικά. Συνιστώ σε όλους να επιστρέψουν στο ghz.gr και να διαβάσουν σχετικά με με αυτά τα updates σύντομα! 

GHz.gr: I would like to thank you very much for your time - i know it is really valuable - on behalf of GHz.gr team for this opportunity and this wonderfull interview. Thank you very much Terry.

Terry Makedon: You are very welcome and thank you for the opportunity to speak to Greek technical enthusiasts. If anyone wants to get real time Catalyst updates from me please follow me on www.twitter.com/catalystmaker

And finally - Go Greece for the Mundial – I will be watching every minute from Toronto and celebrating all our wins!


georgek

Μπράβο, πολύ ωραία

Μπράβο, πολύ ωραία συνέντευξη. Πάντα τέτοια!

Turrican

Μπραβο παιδιά για τις

Μπραβο παιδιά για τις αποκλειστικότητες!!!!
Ενδιαφέρουσα συνεντευξη.
Πάντα τέτοια!!

eve

Πολύ καλή

Πολύ καλή δουλειά!
Makedonομάχε!

ThOraX

Καταπληκτική συνεντευξη,

Καταπληκτική συνεντευξη, συγχαρητήρια και απο μενα παιδιά.Για να δουμε τι θα μας φερουν οι catalyst 10.2 και 10.3. Παρεμπιπτόντως είμαι κατοχος επιτελους της Gigabyte Radeon HD 5870.Ναι!καταφερα και την πήρα τελικα.

z3et

ΕΤΣΙ Η ΕΛΛΑΔΑΡΑ! Παντα και

ΕΤΣΙ Η ΕΛΛΑΔΑΡΑ! Παντα και παντου! Laughing out loud

Τα περι συνεντευξης, απ'οτι καταλαβα το C++ το ειπε σχεδον αχρηστο για τον μεσω χρηστη (και ετσι ειναι βεβαια).

Ο τυπος φενεται να ειναι πολυ cool παντος. Tongue

garvanit

Μπράβο παιδιά για την

Μπράβο παιδιά για την συνέντευξη.
Δείγμα του τι κάνουν οι Έλληνες εκτός Ελλάδος [βλ. Terry Makedon] και εντός Ελλάδος [βλ. www.ghz.gr] όταν έχουν κέφια.

Τελευταία τροποποίηση από garvanit — Πεμ, 11/02/2010 - 14:45.
Lacrimosa_daemon

Πολύ καλή η συνέντευξη , πολύ

Πολύ καλή η συνέντευξη , πολύ καλή δουλειά. Το Ghz.gr αναπτύσεται , θα δούμε και άλλα τέτοια στο μέλλον. ;P

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Ποιο κινητό πιστεύετε ότι είναι το καλύτερο μέχρι στιγμής για το 2014 (πρώτο εξάμηνο);:
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