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ATI targets Nvidia's 60% desktop chip share

'Impossible,' says Nvidia

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Arch-rivals Nvidia and ATI are each gunning for a 60 per cent share of the world market for desktop graphics chips, both companies said separately this week.

First up, ATI. During an Taipei press conference, Ho Kwok Yuen, the company's chairman and CEO (soon to be ex-CEO) said ATI plans to raise its 40 per cent market share to 60 per cent by boosting sales in China and South Korea.

ATI held 30-40 per cent of the Chinese desktop GPU market in 2003 and a slightly higher figure in the South Korean market. Its Chinese share will rise to 60 per cent on the back of OEM and channel sales, said Ho, and 80-90 per cent in South Korea.

If the 2003 figures are right, that represents a big turnaround in both territories, where ATI's market share fell to ten per cent during 2002, according to figures cited by local news source DigiTimes.

If it can maintain that level of growth, it should boost its 2004 share significantly. However, Nvidia's Asia-Pacific sales chief, Francis Yu, described ATI's goal as "impossible".

Not surprisingly, he expects that the GeForce 6800 and 6800 Ultra will keep Nvidia's share at around 60 per cent, despite the arrival of the Radeon X800 series later this month. Both companies will initially target the high end, but both will offer more mainstream-oriented parts based on their new chips over the coming months.

Yu said that would happen in the near future for Nvidia, and leaked ATI roadmaps point to a June debut of an R420-based Radeon SE part.

Of course, the integrated market is where the real volumes are, and both companies will have a job denting Intel's big lead in this sector. During Q4 2003, Intel took 31.7 per cent of the overall graphics chip market, ahead of ATI's 24.9 per cent share and Nvidia's score of 24.7 per cent. ®

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