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ATI Technologies announced last week its latest core-logic for mobile computers based on AMD’s processors, the RADEON XPRESS 200M. The novelty is expected to provide an attractive combination of value and feature set for laptops running Mobile Athlon 64, Mobile Sempron as well as Turion 64 processors from Advanced Micro Devices.

New Chipset Gives New Opportunities

ATI’s RADEON XPRESS 200M core-logic resembles its desktop brother – RADEON XPRESS 200P – and supports AMD64 processors with 800MHz and 1000MHz HyperTransport bus. The North Bridge of the chipset provides PCI Express x16 interface for graphics modules as well as integrated RADEON X300 SE-class graphics engine that may support external frame-buffer, or use system memory as frame-buffer. The South Bridge provides support for 4 PCI Express x1 slots, 7 PCI slots, Serial ATA-150 with RAID 0,1 capabilities as well as 8-channel AC’97 audio.

The RADEON XPRESS 200M supports the whole range of power-saving capabilities, including ATI’s own POWERPLAY 5.0.

Shipments of integrated graphics chipsets for notebooks outpaced those of discrete mobile graphics processors in Q4 2004, showing sequential growth of 21.5% and annual growth of 32.3%, according to Jon Peddie Research. While ATI offers a number of competitive core-logic products in the space, the most-recent market share data shows that Intel Corp. commands 71.8% of integrated graphics chipsets (IGC).

Historically ATI has been one of the most successful suppliers of chipsets for notebooks based on AMD processors. But due to rather lukewarm attitude of the industry towards AMD’s mobile chips, supplies of core-logic products for Mobile Athlon-series processors did not largely affect ATI’s overall IGC market share. Provided that AMD’s initiatives to penetrate the growing market of laptops with new central processing units, primarily with AMD Turion 64 chips, become a success, ATI may boost its market presence. However, in case AMD only manages to hold the current share and sustain its historical presence on the market, ATI’s IGC market share is unlikely to increase because of AMD.

First to Support AMD Turion 64

ATI’s RADEON XPRESS 200M is the world’s first core-logic to be officially said to be designed for Turion 64 processors from Advanced Micro Devices.

AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology is designed for thin-and-light notebooks that boast with ultimately low power consumption, size and weight. While users of thin-and-light notebooks are not that concerned about performance than owners of mainstream and full-size laptops, AMD still wants to offer them 64-bit capability, something that is not available on the Centrino platforms from the arch-rival Intel Corp.. At this time AMD does not discuss peculiarities of its Turion 64 Mobile Technology. Actual products are expected to ship this Summer or earlier, but at this time AMD does not comment on their performance and feature-set.

Currently RADEON XPRESS 200M is available from Sharp in its Mebius PCXG-70H and Mebius PCXG-50H media center notebook PCs. But ATI says the XPRESS 200M will also be available from such leading OEMs and ODMs as HP, Sharp, Medion, Acer, Targa, Gateway, NEC, Mitac, Arima, MSI, Compal, Quanta and Wistron.

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