Yesterday we reported that Micro Star International, one of the closest parents of NVIDIA Corporation, is going to manufacture graphics cards powered by VPUs from ATI Technologies (see this news-story). Today we can tell you some additional facts about this very remarkable decision of the Taiwanese maker of computer components.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that Medion, a very well-known European retailer, wanted to get ATI RADEON 9500 powered graphics cards for its Spring sales promotion. Another fact that seems to be important is that Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Eric Rothdeutsch believes that Medion will also request ATI-based graphics cards for its Fall promotion. If that occurs, NVIDIA could lose as much as $30 million in sales this year. Moreover, any expansion of MSI’s relations with ATI means risks for NVIDIA’s offerings to that company and its clients.
RADEON 9500 family of products is ATI’s mainstream solutions with DirectX 9.0 as well as certain other advanced graphics features support. NVIDIA soon plans to launch its code-named NV31 and NV34 VPUs that also provide DirectX 9.0 functionality and other capabilities, hence, it does seem strange for MSI to choose similar graphics processors from ATI, but not from NVIDIA. Based on this fact we can assume that there may be some difficulties with the ramp of NV3x line of products at the moment.
In fact MSI manufactures and sells a lot of different products for different clients with different needs. Therefore, I suspect that the company might make ATI Technologies or even SiS powered graphics cards for its certain clients in the past, though, no one knew about it until yesterday.
There are no official responses or comments from spokespersons of the companies mentioned above at the moment.