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Chief executive of ATI Technologies, a leading designer of graphics processors and multimedia chips, indicated that the company would continue to acquire smaller companies in a bid to get “critical new technologies” that the firm may require.

“Even though we are looking to accelerate (mergers and acquisitions), we are also looking to make sure we are prudent about it. We’ve got an active funnel, but there's nothing major pending,” said chief executive Dave Orton in an interview with Reuters.

Last year the head of ATI Technologies also said that the company was going to accelerate its pace of acquisitions from one takeover per year: during the year ATI acquired CuTe Solutions, a multimedia technologies developer from India, as well as Terayon Communication Systems, a communication company which primary business was development of cable modem technologies.

“We do about an acquisition a year and they tend to be 30 to 80 people, technology-based acquisitions,” Mr. Orton said, outlining that the benefits of mergers are not only current products and patent portfolios, but experienced staff as well.

All the most-recent acquisitions of ATI were in the consumer electronics market, however, in late 2004 a rumour emerged that the company was eyeing graphics chips developer XGI Technologies.

Recently ATI’s arch-rival Nvidia Corp. acquired chipset designer ULi.

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