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ATI to ship P4 chipset this month – analyst

RS300 and RS300M coming soon

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ATI will ship its RS300 and RS300M Pentium chipsets with integrated graphics this month, Goldman Sachs has told its clients.

ATI has held a Pentium 4 bus licence for some time. Back in March, it said it had licensed Intel's Pentium M bus, allowing it to offer chipsets that use the same processor as Intel's Centrino platform.

Officially, the company has said it will release a chipset for the Pentium 4 this summer, and that's it. From the Goldman Sachs report, its clear that two parts are in the works: the RS300 desktop chipset and a mobile equivalent, the RS300M. The former is almost certainly a P4 chipset, but whether the latter has been designed for the P4 or Pentium M remains unclear.

Both chipsets will offer DirectX 8.1 graphics using a Radeon 9000-class core.

It is believed ATI was expected to show the chipsets off at Computex, originally due to have been held in Taipei this week, but postponed to late September as a result of the SARS crisis.

Goldman Sachs has no great expectations of the chipsets in the short term - Intel dominates the market, pitching ATI against entrenched second-tier players like VIA and SIS. ATI's trump card is its well-established graphics brand. Intel's integrated graphics are weaker than ATI's, and the mobile chipset in particular allows ATI to pitch against Centrino's 855 chipset by offering vendors high quality graphics without the need to embed a separate graphics chip on the AGP bus.

Even so, Goldman Sachs reckons the chipsets will have only "minimal near term impact" on ATI's share price. ®

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