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Sapphire Technology, the world’s largest maker of ATI Radeon-based graphics cards denied the fact that it had entered into a partnership with ATI Technologies’ arch-rival Nvidia Corp., following listing of Sapphire among Nvidia’s partners in a press-release.

“That [listing among Nvidia’s partners] was a shock for us,” said a Sapphire Technology spokesperson.

On Wednesday Nvidia Corp. said that among others “leading add-in-card partners” Hong Kong Sapphire Technology as a provider of GeForce 7900 GS and GeForce 7950 GT-based graphics cards.

The spokesperson for Sapphire told X-bit labs in an unofficial conversation that the information was not correct and the company is still a dedicated partner of ATI Technologies. Typically officials receive information about new product introductions some time before the data is released, which means that either Sapphire employees are unaware of the alliance with Nvidia, or there is no such a partnership.

An industry source, however, said that PC Partner, a company affiliated with Sapphire Technology which is not very widely known, makes Nvidia-based graphics boards, which is why there could be a mistake in listing.

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, however, its chief executive said in an interview that possibility to produce Nvidia-based graphics cards remains.

Nvidia officials did not comment on the news-story.

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