AMD shows off first ATI chipset

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AMD shows off first ATI chipset

Chip giant promises Vista Premium experience without discrete graphics card.

AMD has unveiled its first chipset since its acquisition last year of graphics firm ATI.  

Dave Orton, executive vice president of AMD's visual and media business, showed off the new chip at a company event in San Francisco.

The AMD 690 is the first hardware platform specifically designed to provide users with a Windows Vista Premium experience, according to AMD.

"It is not just graphics, it is graphics and high definition video," said Orton. "Can the platform decode high-definition streams in real time and display them on the screen? That's what the 690 brings to the table."

Windows Vista Premium is known for its high demands on graphics cards, as well as requiring more system memory that Windows XP.

A chipset is a collection of microchips that supports the central processor, controlling how information travels between the CPU and other components of a computer.

AMD's new chipset incorporates an ATI Radeon X1250 processor to enable demanding graphics features in Vista's Aero user interface such as 3D application switching. Users who demand high-end graphics can purchase a discrete graphics card.

Although AMD touted the chipset as the first to come out of the merger of AMD and ATI, Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood warned that design work for the AMD 690 had started long before the acquisition as part of a regular partnership. 

The ability for the pair to jointly create an advanced chipset, however, bodes well for the further integration of the two companies.

"AMD has been able to form effective relationships with companies of its size and bigger," Brookwood told "Intel has never been successful at partnering or acquiring. This bodes well for the overall success of the ATI acquisition."
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