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ATI readies Rage 128-based mobile part

Fastest mobile chip in 2000, company claims

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ATI has begun sampling its next-generation notebook-oriented graphics accelerator, based on its Rage 128 Pro chip. The Rage Mobility 128 is due to ship in volume early next year and will be, in the company's words, the fastest notebook accelerator chip available throughout 2000. A proud boast, to be sure. ATI backs it up with the claim that the chip runs 60 per cent and 20 per cent faster than rival products in 3D and 2D tasks, respectively. ATI needs to stress the speed advantage, given that its strategy centres on the idea that most notebooks are high-end products, so both buyers and vendors want high-performance systems. That's very different from the desktop arena, where 3D acceleration has become just one more commodity. The high end equals, of course, high margins, and ATI is opting for high-price parts, which again requires it to play the performance card. ATI will offer the Rage Mobility 128 for around $45 -- rather higher than today's average of $21, according to EE Times. Whether ATI can achieve that kind of price point, and maintain its performance claims, will depend on its rivals, who have already scented the profits to be made in the notebook market. ATI's old enemy, S3, is active this arena, and its Savage MX will be six months old by the time the Rage Mobility 128 ships, and in the graphics business, that means it's ready for replacement. And market leader NeoMagic is unlikely to rest on its laurels, and has a high-end replacement for its MagicGraph 128XD part already in the works. ® Related Story ATI posts modest growth for Q4 1999

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