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Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies, presented his company at the Pacific Crest Technology Forum at the Sonnenlap Resort, Vail, Colorado yesterday. As it always happens, a number of quite interesting details concerning the company as well as its current and future products were said during the presentation.

The company confirmed that it experiences no cost or yield issues with its RADEON 9600-series graphics processors made by two TSMC fabs using 0.13 micron process. Mr. Bergman even reiterated ATI’s concentration on improving its gross margins what presumes the lack of any problems with the cost of the products, so it looks like the company really has no issues with the 0.13 micron fabrication technology.

Thanks to excellent adoption of RADEON 9600 and 9800 families of VPUs, ATI Technologies now dominates in performance-mainstream segment of graphics cards and has terrific positions in enthusiast segment of the market. The next step for the company is to offer the RADEON 9600 or its derivative for entry-level market to compete against NVIDIA’s GeForce FX 5200 family of GPUs.

Besides, Rick Bergman said that the company’s FIRE GL products for workstations are also very well positioned. ATI Technologies’ market share in the workstation market segment is currently 20%, whereas the share of its arch-rival NVIDIA is about 70%. The remaining part of the market is divided between providers of extremely high-end products, such as 3Dlabs, HP and Sun.

Just like NVIDIA’s representatives during the most recent conference call, ATI’s VP of Desktop division also did not said anything on timeframes of the code-named R400/R420 next-generation architecture product, but said that it contains hundreds of millions transistors and will be made using [now] mature 0.13 micron fabrication technology. We should note that the next high-end VPU from ATI expected this Fall and known as R380 will still be made using 0.15 micron technology.

Presently 90% of total ATI Technologies’ sales are accounted by chips, while only 10% of revenues are accounted by sales of graphics cards. Those 10% of ATI’s revenue include FIRE GL and ALL-IN-WONDER products as well as Built by ATI consumer graphics cards for North American market.

ATI expects to win numerous designs in consumer electronics, including HDTVs and handhelds, because of a large product portfolio and its continued investments in R&D. According to Mr. Bergman, roughly 20% of total ATI’s R&D money has been going into consumer products throughout a few years. Besides, ATI pins a lot of hopes on its chipsets with integrated graphics for desktop and mobile PCs.


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