DigiTimes Reports :
Market share competition between the two major graphics chip suppliers is heating up again with ATI Technologies planning to launch a new marketing campaign and more chips, while Nvidia is starting to release samples of its first AGP 8x-based NV18 chips. ATI plans to introduce the Radeon 9700 chip, a simplified version of the companyís R300-core Radeon 9700 PRO, and the Radeon 9500 chip, also a simplified R300 product with only four pipelines. ATI will add one 0.15-micron-process R350 chip into its product portfolio, sources said, and later debut its first 0.13-micron, light version of the RV350.
Nvidia, after months of market speculation, finally introduced samples of its NV18 chips at the Plugfest validation event held by VIA on August 28. The companyís new AGP 8x-based chip should be launched by the end of the third quarter. The postponed launch of NV30 is due to a design change, not a yield rate problem in TSMC 0.13-micron process as market rumors suggested. Hoping to enhance the productís overall performance to compete with ATIís top-end Radeon 9700 PRO, the sources suggested that Nvidia may alter its original six-pipeline architecture to an eight-pipeline one.