Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) Wednesday announced the availability of its 690 chipset, the company’s first integrated chipset for AMD processors that includes the ATI Radeon X1250 graphics processor. Integrating the Radeon X1250 graphics processor into the 690 chipset means PCs based on the chipset will not require an add-in graphics card. And by building the chipset itself instead of relying on partner companies, AMD will gain competitive leverage against Intel Corp., said Chris Evenden, director of public relations for visual and media business at AMD.
PC vendors such as Dell Inc. or Hewlett-Packard Co. want chipsets made by a single company so they can offer more stable platforms to their enterprise customers. That is one reason that Intel makes its own chipsets. AMD has been at a disadvantage because it once built a chipset model, but in recent years has relied on chipsets made by ATI and Nvidia Corp., Evenden said.
AMD acquired ATI Technologies Inc. last year and has worked quickly to harness the company’s graphics expertise with its own processor lineup, including chipsets — the PC component that connects a processor with other components, including memory and peripherals.
The 690 chipset is compatible with AMD’s desktop processor lineup and offers several high-end features, including integrated DVI (digital visual interface) and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) outputs for high-definition video. The chipset also includes hardware decoding for MPEG2, the video compression technology used with DVDs — which means less CPU power is required when playing DVDs on a computer. Together, that makes the 690 chipset powerful enough to support PCs running Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows Vista OS, as well as home computers designed as media center PCs, he said.
The new chipset is available on motherboards from more than 10 companies, including Asustek Computer Inc. and Elitegroup Computer Systems Co. Ltd., AMD said.