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ATI upgrades P4 bus licence

Supports 800MHz FSB - officially

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ATI has traded in its dusty old Pentium 4 bus licence in return for a shiny new version that includes the Intel processor's new frontside bus with an effective bit rate of 800MHz, the company said today.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed and which is described as an extension to ATI's existing P4 licence, allows the graphics chip maker to follow up the recent launch of its latest P4 chipset, the Radeon IGP 9100, with a version that supports the new FSB speed. At launch, the IGP 9100 was said to support only an FSB with an effective bit rate of 533MHz.

That prompted surprise in some quarters since it had been assumed that ATI already had an 800MHz FSB licence.

Then it didn't, but now it does. Or at least now it's able to say so in public, which isn't quite the same thing. Given the proximity between the two announcements - product and faster FSB support - we're inclined to believe the IGP 9100 could handle the 800MHz bus all along.

Interestingly, ATI refers to the deal as the result of a "patent cross-license agreement", begging the question, what ATI technology has Intel received in return? Alas ATI couldn't tell us, the terms of the deal being confidential. ®

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