Interview with Jeryuan (November 23rd 2006).
This interview was conducted through telephone by KillBill.
A. Very good and very busy. How are you, KillBill?
Q. Great, thanks. I have some questions to ask about XGI.
A. I will answer them the best I can.
Q. Are you satisfied with the acceptance of the Volari cards in the market place?
A. First of all, I have to say that I’m not too sure about the exact numbers; however XGI holds 1.8% of the market place in VGA and around 5-7% in the targeted areas. Our target is to reach 10% in 2006 with the entry level VGA cards.
Q. How many cards does XGI produce monthly?
A. I cannot reply at this time.
Q. Why was Europe targeted first for the V8 Duo release in 2003 but left out in 2005 with the release of the 8300 VGA?
A. We released the most suitable product for that part of the world first. For the 8300 we chose to launch in China first as we believe this card is best suited to the Chinese market. Then we will move on to Eastern Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North America and Europe afterwards. It will be up to the distributors to further release in the areas not considered as strong.
Q. Can you explain to us what kind of relations XGI has with SiS?
A. They are one of our biggest investors and we have their old 3D team here at XGI. (Are you going to ask about IGPUs?)
Q. No I will leave that subject to another date ….laugh
Q. What do u think about your competition?
A. Both ATI and NVIDIA are very strong – They have occupied the market for a very long time. XGI looks at their products and does something different than what they offer. ATI had a very good launch with there latest GPU – its benchmarks were great but in gaming we believe it’s a different story for this product. You will see more competition from XGI in 2006 with our entry level cards as we are focusing on low power – low heat consumption VGAs – we know the strengths of XGI and we release new products every year after 2005.
Q. We have seen both Power color and Abit cards based on your GPUs which are not common in the market place. Can u tell us about your relations with 3rd party manufacturers?
A. We are engaged in talks with some of the top VGA makers in Taiwan. It has been hard as most have very close relations with ATI and NV as well as Intel. At this point of time ChainTech is our major partner. XGI is still in contact with Abit and Power Color for the 8300.
Q.The V3 (XP5) has Anisotropic filtering up to x 8 and is considered the one of the best Volari cards (without user errors) to hit the market. Will XGI ever deliver extra advance settings for this GPU as the public has asked for over a year (and beta testers) for more options but XGI has failed to deliver considering the drivers for it have improved more so then the XG40.
A. This is the first time I have heard about this?
Q. I’ve emailed XGI many times asking for new features by public request only to be let down time and time again.
A. XGI’s first role for the V3 (XP5) is to have the most stable driver suport – We are currently considering more options in future driver release. So yes there will be more options.
Q. Some samples of the 8300 used Hynix 2.8ns GDDR ram – Rumer has it XGI will use Samsung 5ns DDR SD DRAM? – why isn’t XGI adopting DDR2 or GDDR3 Ram to its new products as the price is very competitive and costs less than DDR. Many including myself believe that DDR is a thing of the past and is out-dated. Why take a step backwards?
A. The 8300 could have been launched in 2003 or 2004 but we held back due to our new technology and the change in architecture of the card to enable newer Ram models to be placed on the PCB in a stable working environment with the GPU. We used DDR for its low cost and power consumption. We are working on bringing GDDR 3 and GDDR 4 to our new VGA cards.
As for the 8300 it will be up to XGI partners on what Ram they will improvise on their XGI cards.
Q. What was the main cause of postponing your next generation products?
A. As your know XGI did not show any new products for over a year (2004-05). Our strategy is different to what is was back in Sept 2003. We had a new product (8300) that is based on Low power and heat consumption – We needed to test it and iron out any faults and make sure its Driver software was very stable.
We tested over 300 products and over 200 games with the 8300 before we released it in China and will further develop this product.
Q. Can you tell us about the availability and pricing of your latest cards worldwide.
A. For some areas it has been difficult for XGI to get a distributor. So China is first followed by East Asia then the Middle East and North America and Europe.
By the release of the XG50 we will see it in almost every country around the world.
Q. Is it true that the 8600 (XG45) has been replaced with the XG50 also known as the 8900? And it may not be released at all into the market place?
A. First of all the 8600 had a architect design change for the use of 296-bit (I don’t know what this meant) and GDD3-4 Ram. The GPU went from 130mm design to .90mm design and will be on the market in the 3rd quarter of 2006.
Q. Do you play 3D games and if so, which games do you play ?
A. I play Half Life 2 – it’s very ATI based, I have noticed, but other then that I’m a console guy! I like baseball games and follow the Major League so yeah give me a BaseBall title any time!!!! Or any sport game.
Q. Do you have anything you wish to add?
A. Yes – We have some great news. The XG60 design is done and will follow up soon after the release of the 8600 cards. It has 16 true pipes and will use GDDR 4 Ram, expect to see it in the 1st Quarter of 2007.