Well, this is certainly going to be a smack in the face to ATI’s hopes in the chipset market. NVIDIA is set to take over ULI’s chipset business next year and that is nothing but bad news for the big red machine. As most of you know the ATI motherboard south bridge chips have been plagued with issues and ATI’s quick fix was to pair the Xpress 200 north bridge with a ULI south bridge, just like we saw on the Asus A8R-MVP motherboard I recently reviewed. Obviously now that NVIDIA is the head cheese at ULI, that will no longer be an option. ATI had better straighten things out with their south bridges, and VERY quickly.
NVIDIA’s press release can be found on their website as well.
Through the acquisition, Nvidia is hoping to weaken ATI’s presence in the global chipset market, noted industry sources. ULi currently supplies southbridge chips for use with ATI Technologies’ Pentium 4 northbridge chips. A December 7 article pointed out that ATI may bump Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) from being the third-largest core-logic chipset supplier worldwide this quarter. An estimate by Mercury Research stated that ATI’s ranking in the global core-logic chipset market will climb to third place in the first quarter of 2006 with a 15% market share, followed by SiS with 12%.