The Athlon64 Radeon Xpress: ATi's Latest Stab as a Chipset Maker

ATi Radeon Xpress To Catalyze Athlon64 Sales

While ATi has been in the chipset business for three years now, its Radeon IGP series has never been really successful. This situation could change now, as the Radeon Xpress 200 finally addresses the booming Athlon64 architecture.

Unlike Intel's Pentium 4 chipsets, Athlon64 chipsets are seeing strong growth, which gives ATi a nice opportunity to gain a share in the chipset sector against VIA and Nvidia.

However, competing against Intel's chipset business is a difficult venture. On the one hand there is Intel's knowledge and experience that is very hard to match, resulting in its impeccable dominance. On the other hand, the "Intel Inside" brand factor, including long relationships with customers measured in years, must never be underestimated. Gaining partners that have been happy with Intel chipsets is hard to achieve, even if one can throw in a heavyweight brand like ATi's Radeon.

But the tough competition in the Intel platform market certainly is not the only reason for ATi to make the switch.

Also, both NVIDIA and VIA are fighting for market share, while the Athlon64 architecture has not yet reached its vertex. Hence the business opportunity is much better than in the Intel platform arena, which lacks processor acceptance among end-user customers.

While ATi will continue to supply Intel chipsets, the first product of the new Radeon Xpress family sides with the AMD camp and is based on the Athlon64. The chipset offers an integrated graphics option, thus remaining true to the Radeon graphics brand. Radeon Xpress 200 is based on the current generation Radeon X300 DirectX 9 core and can either be operated using parts of the main memory or with up to 128 MB of a dedicated frame buffer.