NVIDIA's GeForce 6100 and 6150 IGP chipsets support DirectX Shader Model 3.0, and Intel's G965 Express is expected to do the same. ATI's RS600, however, will support only Shader Model 2.0. HKEPC claims ATI is planning to skip the Shader Model 3.0 generation altogether with its onboard graphics and move on to Shader Model 4.0 and DirectX 10 in its future RS700 chipset. Little is known about the RS700, but it will reportedly show up in mid-2007 and support hardware acceleration for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD media.
If this report is correct, ATI's decision not to support Shader Model 3.0 in the RS600 will probably have little import in the world of integrated graphics solutions. SM 3.0 can boost performance and image quality slightly with longer shader programs, but it's unlikely to be a handicap in this class of devices with very modest overall performance.