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After becoming the leader on the graphics processors market last year, ATI Technologies definitely wants to sustain its number one position further in all market segments. We managed to reveal the latest plans of this company that are subject to be adjusted, but still looks interesting at this point.

Firstly, a successor of the RADEON 9600-series also known as RV350, may come as early as later this month, a source revealed. It will have some performance improvements; so, hold on with us to get the finalized details.

A next higher-end graphics chip, the code-named R360 VPU, will come in the second half of August, even though we may expect ATI to announce it a little bit earlier. The chip should be even more powerful than the RADEON 9800 PRO, but there are doubts it will bring us anything new in terms of 3D graphics capabilities.

The already well-known ATI R420 graphics processor probably boasting with a lot of new innovations, such as Shaders 3.0 and DirectX 9.1 support, will be announced at Comdex. ATI will try to ramp it up as quickly as possible in order to deliver the graphics cards for the pre-Christmas season, however, currently there are no indications if the company has chances to succeed or not.

Moreover, there will be a mainstream graphics processor currently known as ATI RV420 intended for performance mainstream market. It will make its appearance after the R420 and will inherit its features and capabilities.

In general, expect ATI R360 to come in August or early September, R420 to appear late this year or early next year, while ATI RV420 is to come in the first quarter 2004. Probably RV420 arrival depends on the launch of the higher-end R420 product.

The plans are totally unofficial and may be eventually adjusted in order to react on the situation on the market.

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