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Thursday, October 06, 2005

ATI Launches New Family of Top-End Graphics Chips

ATI Technologies Inc. launched its new family of high-end graphics chips on Wednesday, a move it hopes will help it win back market share in the fiercely competitive sector.

ATI's Radeon X1000 family of processors will compete with the GeForce 7800 product line designed by Nvidia Corp.

Both ATI and Nvidia are targeting high-end customers such as video game enthusiasts, who are willing to pay top dollar for chips and graphics cards that offer the highest speeds and richest detail.

Analysts said ATI has lost ground to Nvidia this year after it ran into production problems and was forced to delay its launch.

"We acknowledge that we've had a little gap for a three- or four-month period on the very high end of our product portfolio," said Rick Bergman, a senior vice-president at ATI.

"I think after this announcement, and when you see the reviews from the analysts and so on out there, there will be no doubt that ATI has moved back into the position of having the best graphics performance in the industry."

The Markham, Ontario-based firm said the launch includes the Radeon X1800, aimed at the so-called enthusiast sector, the Radeon X1600 for the mid-range market and the Radeon X1300 for budget users.

ATI said graphics cards including the X1800 and X1300 are shipping immediately, with additional X1800 configurations and X1600 cards shipping later in October and November.

Bergman said the new chips could be up to twice as fast as competing offerings in some sectors and would bring "consumer level video and display technologies" to the personal computer for the first time.

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