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Diamond Multimedia, a well-known supplier of graphics cards in the U.S., may have plans to enter the marker of professional graphics accelerators with new VFX 2000-series products. The new boards will not only be the first professional boards from Diamond in years, but will also be one of the first professional product from ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, marketed by a third-party add-in-card company.

The flagship of the new family from Diamond, reports HotHardware web-site, will be Diamond VFX 2000 which is believed to be a re-branded ATI FireGL V8650, which has 2GB of 2.0GHz GDDR4 memory as well as ATI R600 graphics processing unit with 320 unified shader processors. The top-of-the-range ATI FireGL product is positioned to serve the high-end of professional digital content creating (DCC) and similar markets and has price tag of $2799.

It is interesting to note that FireGL trademark was first introduced by Diamond Multimedia for its lineup of professional graphics cards based on chips from 3Dlabs and IBM. But after Diamond Multimedia became a part of S3 Graphics and multimedia division was spun-off as SonicBlue company, ATI Technologies acquired the FireGL assets from the independent company. But while now FireGL comes back to Diamond, the graphics cards designer will not use the well-known brand-name.

Since ATI acquired FireGL in 2001, the company has not allowed third-party graphics cards makers to market professional products under their brand-names. Instead, only shipped its FireGL graphics cards to its partners among workstations suppliers or sold the boards under ATI FireGL trademarks. However, Advanced Micro Devices, the new owner of ATI, recently decided to allow Sapphire Technology to sell FireGL professional accelerators, perhaps, to stop market share eroding, considering the rather aggressive business approach by arch-rival Nvidia Corp. with its Quadro family of professional graphics boards.

Diamond Multimedia officials did not comment on the news-story.

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