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ATI Technologies has seen some criticism by enthusiasts for the lack of its own south-bridge chip, which is also sometimes referred as I/O controller, and is about to introduce a brand-new design of the media and communication chip known under SB600 code-name.

Billy Wang, vice president for Asia Pacific and China at ATI Technologies, has reportedly stated that the company’s new SB600-series of south-bridge chips will be introduced in May, reports DigiTimes. Mr. Wang was responding to recent speculation that ULi Electronics may no longer provide its I/O controllers for ATI-based motherboard platforms, following its acquisition by ATI’s arch-rival Nvidia Corp.

Earlier press reports indicated that ATI’s code-named SB600 south-bridge series will feature Serial ATA-300 with RAID capabilities, 10 USB 2.0 ports, high definition audio and other important capabilities. According to some, the new series of I/O chips will get significantly higher performance in general as well as very low power consumption. The SB600 is projected to allow ATI to offer functionality on par with the other leading chipset designers,

According to market research firm Mercury Research, ATI Technologies commanded 9% of the whole chipset market in Q4 2005, just slightly outpacing arch-rival Nvidia Corp and Silicon Integrated systems, but far behind market leaders Intel Corp. (57%) and Via Technologies (16%). In the same quarter the company shipped 18% and 6% of core-logic sets for AMD and Intel processors, respectively.

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