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According to a report from a Goldman Sachs analyst Andrew Root quoting data from Mercury Research, ATI Technologies became the world’s No.2 graphics supplier surpassing NVIDIA by a small margin and getting closer to the market leader – Intel Corporation.

Reportedly, in the fourth quarter of 2003 Intel had 31.7% of the market, down 3.3% from the previous quarter; ATI commanded 24.9%, up 3.9% from the Q3 2003; NVIDIA owned 24.7% of the market, 0.3% less compared to a quarter before.

Throughout 2003 Intel’s share was 27%, 32%, 35% and 31.7% in Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 respectively. We may say that the company gained nearly 5% of the market in 2003. NVIDIA’s share was 31%, 27%, 25% and 24.7% in the first, second, third and fourth quarters in that order showing rather unhealthy downtrend. ATI commanded 20%, 21%, 22% and 24.9% during the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 respectively demonstrating rather slow uptick.

Goldman Sachs said that NVIDIA lost its share points in its key market segment – standalone graphics processors for PCs. In contrast, ATI’s market share of standalone desktop graphics chips soared during the fourth quarter, according to Goldman Sachs. The company also believes there was an additional downside risk to NVIDIA estimates for the fiscal first quarter and fiscal second quarter given the unexpected gap in share gains in notebooks, where NVIDIA lost less than 1% of share in the December quarter despite of gains predicted by originally by Andrew Root from Goldman Sachs.

The main reason of ATI Technologies’ market share gain might be very positive sales of high-end and performance-mainstream graphics chips, such as RADEON 9600 and RADEON 9800 series, during Christmas season, as well as new design wins with the world’s leading OEMs, such as Dell.

Additional comments from the companies or market analysts were not available at press time.

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