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ATI Technologies has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for registering CrossFire brand-name. Currently it is unclear what the trademark should mean, but it is highly possible that CrossFire will be the official brand to mark the company’s multi-VPU technology, which, according to some web-sites, will be introduced in weeks.

“ATI CrossFire” and “CrossFire” were registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office in early May by attorney of record Lynn M. Jordan. The exact meaning of the brand-name is unclear and ATI’s official spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. Crossfire means bullets fired towards a point from different directions, which may be a metaphor of frames rendered by different graphics cards.

About a week ago a web-site published a story claiming that ATI’s forthcoming R520 would not be launched in June, 2005, as expected, but will be announced at a later date due to release of ATI’s multi-VPU technology, which now has some chances to be called ATI CrossFire. While ATI’s officials do not comment on the unannounced products, some sources close to the company indicated that the information has good chances to be accurate and ATI would launch its next-generation VPU when it is feasible from the tactical point of view, as currently the company’s RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition is the world’s fastest single-chip graphics accelerator. Some other sources said ATI was seriously working on the launch of the company’s multi-GPU consumer technology.

The multi-GPU technology from ATI will have a number of fundamental shifts from technologies of this kind, sources close to ATI said late last year. The main thing ATI was working on is how to enable two different graphics cards to work in pair, providing enhancements to gamers who use the technology. In early 2005 ATI indicated to its partners that the technology did not require any physical connectors between the cards, but also noted that two identical graphics cards have to be installed. Some sources close to the company also said that ATI’s multi-VPU technology is concentrated on improving image quality on the first place rather than adding substantial performance boost over single-VPU configurations.

Officials from ATI do not comment on unreleased products.

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