Apple’s use of Nvidia chips in the new, faster Power Macs is, according to a CNet story, a sign of the new order in the graphics chip market. Apple’s faster Power Macs will use Nvidia’s GeForce2 MX chips while the slowest models will use ATI Technologies’ Rage 128 Pro chip. ATI, still the largest maker of graphics chips though losing share to NVidia, downplayed the choice by Apple as a move to lessen dependence on one source.
In related news, ATI has signed a cross-licensing deal with Intel Corp. that ends patent litigation pending between the two companies. The agreement will allow ATI to enter the integrated chipset business using its 3D graphics technology as well as some Intel patents. Intel, in return, will gain access to certain ATI technologies. Analysts believe ATI’s expansion into the rapidly growing, though less profitable, low-end chipset market will help the company compete against NVidia.