Is the ATI brand making a return? Based on a recently updated Catalyst PC Vendor ID list, that may very well be the case.
Much to our horror, AMD decided to pull the plug on ATI co-branding back in August after determining that it had enough clout in the graphics sector to ditch the long-standing ATI name. AMD kept the brand after assimilating the GPU manufacturer into its collective back in 2006 to better compete with Nvidia. However three months later it's still hard putting "AMD" in front of Radeon simply because ATI feels more natural.
But based on the latest Catalyst PC Vendor ID List, AMD may go back to using ATI after all. Although the list is no longer available online, Google Cache still has a copy on file and clearly shows six unannounced Radeon HD 6000-series cards retaining the ATI brand. They follow two entries for 6800-series cards that appear with the AMD Radeon brand on both the list and retail packaging.
|AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series||NI||6739|
|AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series||NI||6738|
|ATI Radeon HD 6230||Evergreen||68F9|
|ATI Radeon HD 6250||Evergreen||68F9|
|ATI Radeon HD 6290||Evergreen||68F9|
|ATI Radeon HD 6390||Evergreen||68DA|
|ATI Radeon HD 6510||Evergreen||68D9|
|ATI Radeon HD 6750||Evergreen||68BE|
There speculation that the ATI branding may be tied to the architecture used by the six unannounced cards--Evergreen--and are merely re-branded versions of older HD 5000-series cards. The product IDs indicate that the three HD 6200 cards will be based on the HD 5400 GPUs, the HD 6390 and HD 6510 based on the HD 5500 GPUs, and the HD 6750 based on the HD 5700 series. The six new boards may also offer a few upgrades to the overall design but could simply be straight re-brands of cards already on the market.
Naturally, because the list was pulled and AMD hasn't officially announced the six cards, everything is merely speculation. The ATI branding could simply be a copy-paste error when adding the new entries, or as previously stated, could be linked to the older, ATI-era architecture.