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ATI Technologies said Friday it had shipped its one millionth native PCI Express visual processing unit. The claim outlines pretty slow progress of PCI Express ramp.

Markham, Ontario-based ATI launched its full family of PCI Express graphics solutions on June 1, 2004, including the RADEON X300, RADEON X600 and RADEON X800 graphics processors for consumer and commercial customers and the FireGL V3100, FireGL V3200, FireGL V5100 and FireGL V7100 for professional customers. These graphics cards are currently shipping to OEM and system integrator customers worldwide, ATI said in its statement.

ATI Technologies has been pretty successful with its PCI Express strategy securing plethora of design wins with world’s leading OEMs.

“Currently, ATI has about 100% of the OEM PCI Express business, and we expect to get a large proportion of the channel business, much larger than we have achieved in the past, too,” said Chris Evenden, a spokesman for ATI Technologies in early July.

Even though the hype about the market of PCI Express x16 graphics cards has been pretty strong now, the market share of PCI Express graphics devices is unlikely to surpass 30% - 35% mark this year, some analysts noted. Furthermore, it may appear that such estimations are overoptimistic.

According to Mercury Research all makers of standalone graphics chips for personal computers sold 80 million of chips for PC add-in graphics cards in 2003.

NVIDIA Corp., arch-rival of ATI Technologies, did not immediately respond to inquiry seeking for comment on the number of NVIDIA’s graphics processing units for PCI Express bus sold.

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