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XGI Technology, a designer of graphics chips and maker of graphics cards, announced the signing of a distribution agreement with ASI Corporation to supply the company’s Volari products into the U.S. retail market.

“XGI is very excited about the opportunities ASI Corporation will bring to the XGI partnership. With a great professional reputation addressing a diverse channel market, ASI is a valuable distributor and a clear choice for XGI to strategically expand into the U.S. market,” said Simon Pickard, Director of U.S. Sales for XGI.

In late September, 2004, XGI Technology, a graphics chips designer, announced intention to produce and market graphics cards based on its own visual processing units. The company said it would target its own add-in boards at various market segments in an attempt to boost market share.

XGI's market share was 0.28% in the Q4 2004, according to a report from market research firm Jon Peddie Research.

XGI said it would offer graphics cards based on Volari V8, Volari V5, Volari V3XT, and Volari V3 graphics processors. In addition, XGI said, it would market solutions for mobile computers as well.

Announced in mid-September 2003, the XGI Volari graphics processors is the third family of actual chips to support DirectX 9.0 capabilities available in the market. XGI currently offers two graphics processors with identical feature-set, but different performance – the Volari V5 and the Volari V8. The fundamental difference between the former and the latter is the number of rendering pipelines – 4 and 8 for the V5 and V8 respectively. The XGI Volari V5 and V8 have equal number of vertex shader pipelines – 2 per chip. However, the Volari V8 also packs 4 pixel shader pipelines, while the V5 only boasts with 2 of them.

Both V5 and V8 GPUs are made using 0.13 micron fabrication process at UMC.

Previously XGI partnered with ABIT, Chaintech and Triplex, while Tul Corporation had decided to withdraw from manufacturing products based on XGI Volari graphics processors. Additionally, XGI had inked deals with Chinese manufacturers Hasee Science & Technology and Lian Guan (Crown Electronic Technology), according to some reports. The company did not reveal any reasons switch to cards business from chips business.

XGI Technology is expected to release its code-named XG45, XG47, XP10 visual processing units in the first half of 2005. The chips are expected to feature Shader Model 3.0 as well as other innovations.

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