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Leading graphics company ATI Technologies announced this week two new visual processing units aimed at mobile computers with PCI Express interconnection. With new chips, ATI’s lineup that consists of MOBILITY RADEON X300, X600 and X800 parts can address various markets.

Announced earlier this year, MOBILITY RADEON X600 scored a number of design wins for ATI and the company now offers a bit cheaper version with the same architecture called MOBILITY RADEON X300. The MOBILITY RADEON X600 chip inherits the graphics architecture of MOBILITY RADEON 9700 with 4 rendering pipelines and 2 geometry engines, but builds-in a number of enhancements that touch upon power-saving capabilities (POWERPLAY 5.0) as well as image quality improving features (LCD-EE). The difference between the X600 and X300 parts lies in lower core-speed and lower-speed memory frequency of the latter along with support for the so-called HyperMemory technology, a feature that allows a PCI Express VPU to use system memory as frame-buffer. Furthermore, the MOBILITY RADEON X300 is made using 0.11 micron process technology in contrast to X600’s 0.13 micron fabrication process.

ATI MOBILITY RADEON X800 inherits architecture of the desktop RADEON X800 PRO series, packs in 12 pixel pipelines and 6 vertex pipelines along with power-saving technologies, etc.. The new DirectX 9.0-supporting mobile chip for PCI Express-enabled notebooks sports 256-bit GDDR3 memory interface for higher performance in the latest computer games along with certain technologies that may improve their visual attraction, such as 3Dc.

ATI does not disclose MOBILITY RADEON X300 clock-speeds now. A high-performing MOBILITY RADEON X800 incarnation may be clocked as high as 400MHz for chip and 800MHz for memory. ATI demonstrated such a notebook recently.

Intel Corp. earlier this year said it would commercially launch its PCI Express core-logic products code-named Alviso only in the Q1 2005, which limits target market for PCI Express graphics processing units from ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corp.. NVIDIA recently unveiled its GeForce 6800 Go graphics processor targeting PCI Express notebooks.

From December 2004 onwards, MOBILITY RADEON X800 will be available from notebook designers as Alienware, Eurocom, Rock and Velocity Micro, with additional designs to be announced over the coming months. MOBILITY RADEON X300 will also be featured in many upcoming next generation mainstream OEM designs, ATI said.


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