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ATI to launch R200 next week

Next-gen chip to debut at SIGGRAPH claims third-party press release

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ATI will launch its R200, likely to be called the Radeon 2, at next week's SIGGRAPH show, one of the graphics chip specialist's partners has let slip.

Face-modelling software developer LifeFX has just put out a press release noting that ATI will bundle a custom version of its code with the R200. LifeFX says it will demo the software at the "highly anticipated product launch of R200 at this year's SIGGRAPH".

SIGGRAPH opens its doors next Tuesday, 14 August.

ATI can't complain about this inadvertent leak, having last year pre-announced Apple's dual-CPU Power Mac G4 and Power Mac G4 Cube in a pre-Macworld Expo press release. Having faced the wrath of Steve Jobs for its blunder, by rights ATI should approach similar violators of its own secrets with some humility.

ATI's decision to bundle LifeFX's software has a little more to it than the launch leak, however. The move nicely sets the R200 up against Matrox's latest chip, the G550, which also bundles face-modelling software. That's an attempt on Matrox's part to find new customers for 3D technology through new applications. Clearly, ATI has the same idea, and probably wants to prevent Matrox winning too much of its business in the process. ®

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