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There is definitely something going on between the world’s No.2 graphics solutions supplier ATI Technologies and one of the world’s largest makers of graphics cards Microstar International, as a yet another source indicates MSI’s plans to roll-out a lineup of Powered by ATI add-in cards.

DigiTimes web-site quoted a report from a Chinese-language Commercial Times newspaper claiming that MSI had plans to showcase its new lineup of graphics cards based on VPUs from ATI Technologies at CeBIT 2004 show in Hannover, Germany, later this month.

Microstar International currently ships about 700 thousand of graphics cards monthly, a bit below its level of shipments in late 2002. The company wants to sharply increase shipments of graphics cards starting from the second quarter of the year. To catalyze the growth in demand for its products, MSI is expected to add Powered by ATI SKUs into the lineup.

MSI have always been one of the main partners of NVIDIA Corporation – the arch-rival of ATI Technologies – whose market share is just 0.2% below than that of Markham, Ontario-based graphics company.

Rumours about ATI’s collaborations with MSI and ASUSTeK – NVIDIA’s largest add-in-board partners – have been going around for a couple of years and while partnership between ASUS and ATI was confirmed last year, any graphics cards-related affiliation between MSI and ATI is denied. The last time we reported about possible deal between ATI and MSI with estimated announcement date in mid-January, the information did not materialize.

However, making graphics cards based on VPUs from ATI Technologies is not going to be something totally new for MSI. The company already produces such kind of hardware for its partner Medion. Microstar International also makes RADEON 9100 IGP-based mainboards.

Representatives from ATI and MSI did not comment on the story.

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