David Orton – the President and Chief Operating Officer for Markham, Ontario-based ATI Technologies – said on Wednesday that his company will not launch its chipset for the ramping family of AMD64 processors in the next six month. In late 2002 sources close to ATI indicated the company’s strong efforts in AMD Athlon 64 direction.
“We are committed to developing K8 core-logic, though it probably won’t be in the next six months. However, we will be working on both desktop and notebook chipsets,” Orton said in his interview to FiringSquad.
ATI Technologies – a leading graphics company these days – has never been too successful with its chipsets, even though some of its core-logic products are highly acclaimed by the industry. ATI’s first ever chipset called S1-370 TL announced in 2000 was adopted by only one PC company in the world. The second generation of core-logic products from the Markham, Ontario-based GPU company was considerably more successful, but since its performance was behind competition, the RADEON 340M, RADEON 320M and RADEON 7000 IGP were primarily adopted by notebook makers for excellently low power-consumption as well as great value, while manufacturers of desktop mainboards released very few such mainboards.
ATI had 39% of the mobile-integrated market in Q3 2003, according to Mercury Research. However, ATI still has to fight strongly for its share in the desktop integrated market. The management of the company expects desktop integrated products to account for less than 10% of revenue for ATI’s fiscal 2004 year ending in August 2004 – frankly that means a not really aggressive ramp.
During the discussion of ATI’s fiscal Q4 2003 results earlier this year, the company said it pinned a lot of hopes on PCI Express and supporting core-logic products. As the PCI Express bus will start to emerge in Q2 or Q3 2004, we most probably should not expect any conventional chipsets for AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron microprocessors from ATI before that. Instead, the company is likely to offer an AMD64 core-logic based on PCI Express standard sometime later in the year, presumably in the second half.
NVIDIA – the main competitor of ATI Technologies in the market of graphics processors – has already indicated plans to launch a plethora of core-logic products for AMD’s 64-bit chips. The list of its nForce3-series devices includes chipsets for desktop, workstation, mobile and even server machines. It is very likely that when ATI finally comes to this market, it will be pretty hard for the company to expand its presence there, as the competition between NVIDIA and VIA – the number one supplier of AMD-supporting chipsets – promises to be extremely fierce next year. Nonetheless, ATI has an advantage over NVIDIA and VIA – it always offers chipsets with integrated graphics, while the mentioned pair of companies is concentrated on discrete solutions.