ATI confirms Radeon 2 to ship late summer

R200 set for September launch?

ATI has confirmed a "late summer" as the release date for its upcoming R200 chip - likely to be called the Radeon 2.

The admission was made during an announcement that the graphics chip maker expects to sign between 13 and 18 contracts with PC makers to pre-install its chips in desktop and notebook machines.

This OEM market has long been an ATI stronghold, though over the last year or so, Nvidia has made some very aggressive moves to win over PC makers to its graphics chips. By the end of 2000, Nvidia had grown its share of the desktop PC graphics processor market from 18 per cent in Q4 1999 to 48 per cent. By contrast, ATI's share fell from 35 per cent to 34 per cent over the same period, according to Jon Peddie Associates figures. ATI still rules the notebook market.

Nvidia's marketshare has largely grown at the expense of the likes of 3dfx, Matrox and S3, but its 2001 design wins will have primarily taken sales away from ATI. It's no wonder the company is basing its recovery on sales to OEMs. The 18-odd potential design wins cover ATI's existing product line, not Radeon 2.

The R200 is believed to be sampling very soon - possibly already, given ATI's launch yesterday of its Truform technology - and, according to the latest leaks, will go into mass production in September. That certainly ties in very nicely with the "late summer" ship date a company spokesman mentioned yesterday. ®

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