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UPDATE 1: Adding background information.
UPDATE 2: Adding further clarifications.

After making numerous complains about supplies of high-end graphics processors by ATI Technologies, its main add-in graphics cards partner Sapphire Technologies said that it could use graphics chips from the rival Nvidia Corp. some day to fulfill the demand for Sapphire-branded graphics cards.

“I am not saying that directly but a lot of our customers, OEMs and retailers, have asked for both NVIDIA and ATI SKUs. Think of it like this, there are two types of people who will want a German car, some go for BMW, some go for Mercedes – the best thing to do is make sure both are covered. When the time is right, we may do it,” said K D Au, chief executive of Sapphire Technology, the No. 1 producer of add-in-cards with ATI Radeon chips, in an interview with web-site.

After the news-story has been published, Sapphire was rather quick to clarify the statements of its chief executive and say that Sapphire Technologies has no plans to build Nvidia-based solutions at this moment.

"Now is not 'the right time' - and we currently have no plans to change from being dedicated to ATI graphics solutions," said Bill Donnelly, a spokesman for Sapphire, emphasizing that "it is quite clear in the original context" that Mr. Au was saying the company would only change its position if market forces were such that it made sound business sense.

Mr. Au said that his company was growing so rapidly that securing enough graphics processors was crucial to fulfill the demand of its clients, among which are large computer vendors, such as Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Medion and NEC. He indicated that having two suppliers of graphics chips ensures not only a more flexible business model in terms of volume, but also guarantees that the demand for the Sapphire-branded products is always high.

“Take our business, our primary business is producing and selling discrete graphics boards based on ATI GPUs. If the market trends aren't in ATI’s favour and NVIDIA is ahead then this, obviously, can hurt us. Also, if ATI can’t deliver in volume this hurts us, too. The best thing which we can do is make sure we aren't dependant on a single supplier or SKU,” Mr. Au added.

Sapphire Technologies’ monthly video board production capacity can reach a lofty 1.8 million units and often topples this landmark figure. So far the company has only produced ATI-based boards.


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