ATI licenses Pentium M bus

— 4:00 PM on March 18, 2003

In perhaps the shortest press release I've ever seen, ATI has announced that it has acquired a Pentium M bus license. Check it out:

MARKHAM, ON – ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT) today announced the company has reached agreement with Intel Corporation for a Pentium® M processor bus license. This gives ATI the necessary rights to build integrated chipsets for PC platforms based on Intel Pentium® M processors. Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed. ATI is the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of graphics solutions for notebooks, with 49 per cent of the market, according to Mercury Research.
The announcement comes on the heels of last week's launch of the Mobility Radeon 9600 and 9200 mobile graphics chips, both of which will likely be paired with Intel's Pentium M in Centrino-branded notebooks.

As far as I know, ATI is the only third party chipset manufacturer to hold a license for Intel's Pentium M bus. Because it seems doubtful that ATI would want to compete directly with Intel's Centrino brand and its own high-performance mobile graphics chipsets, it seems likely any mobile chipset development would center on low-end alternatives to Centrino. For budget-minded consumers wanting the Pentium M's battery life without having to pay for wireless networking, a low-cost alternative to Centrino could certainly be attractive.

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