iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ATI Technologies:
Premium Event
"With no limits in mind"
January 24, 2003

By Andrey Vorobiev  (anvakams@ixbt.com)


ATI Technologies didn't consider the computer market in Russia as such for a long time. Fortunately, time changes, now even the top Canadian officials got the idea about how huge the Russian market is, how actively it develops and grows. 

We are not going to pour out loads of information on how much time and efforts is spent to prove that the ATI's policy regarding Russia is not correct. The key role was played by the European department of the company and the subsidiary in France. The representatives of these departments were in Moscow several times and thoroughly studied our market (thanks to the meetings with leading dealers and distributors of computer components in Russia). Now ATI Technologies is going to carry out an aggressive policy on the Russian market where products based on NVIDIA processors are currently prevailing (70%). Sure, I mean only the segment of video cards for desktop computers. 

Considering that ATI produces itself only a small share of video cards based on its own chips, it's vital to attract to Russia its numerous partners. That is why one of the aims of the Moscow's event is to demonstrate products of some of ATI's partners and small presentations of the companies themselves to draw attention of large distributors and trade companies which export computer components. 

The slogan was "With no limits in mind!" because the other target of the forum was a seminar with leading software developers. The experts in programming and 3D graphics technologies from ATI did therefore arrive. 

After the introductory part the audience split into two flows: some remained there to listen to the guys from ATI and its partners about the market development, new products, and future directions; the others went to the hall with computers spread all over there to get in touch with experts from ATI in the sphere of programming and technologies. Alexander Medvedev will share his impressions on this aspect in the Part 2 of this article. 

January, 24th, about 9 a.m...

The guys from iXBT.com arrived there before the registration started, and during hour and a half, waiting for the conference to start, we met colleagues, discussed some intersting subjects and even had a breakfast. The forum took place in the Golden Ring Hotel on the Smolenskaya street. 

Here is our delegation. This is me: 

then goes Alexander Medvedev (our 3D GURU) 

Philipp Gerasimov  (developer of the synthetic tests from RightMark 3D) 

and Alexander Kondakov (who bears the main burden of 3Digest; also, he is an expert in professional 3D accelerators sphere) 

During the forum we had a lot of interesting meetings and pleasant talks. Above you can feel the atmosphere of easiness, which, in this particular case, is supported by the boss of 3DNews Andrey Kuzin :-) 

So, while waiting for the fanfare (on the right is Konstantin Martynenko AKA Kenguru, representative of Sapphire Technologies in Moscow, founder of Reactor Critical site

The forum was conducted on the high level. But a big fly in the ointment was the fact that the thought of translating the speeches get into the organizers' minds only at 9 a.m. Alas, it was impossible to find an interpreter so quickly, and the forum had no interpretation (with rare exception - later you will understand why). 

Presentation of the Brand 2002 to ATI 

Shortly before the conference we met Peter Edinger, ATI's Vice President, and presented him on behalf of iXBT.com and its audience the Diploma certifying that ATI Technologies is awarded with the title Brand 2002 according to the poll carried out at the end of last year. 

Start of the conference

Note that all the speeches were in English (with rare exception), that is why the listeners had to speak it more or less well to understand the speakers. 

In his introductory speech Peter Edinger, Vice President, ATI, touched upon the aspects of development of the Russian market and ATI's intention to return: "ATI is back on Russia". From what I could understand, the policy of ATI and its partners will become quite aggressive; the company isn't going to lose the chance to fill a huge chunk of the market with its new products: RADEON 9500-9700, as well as RADEON 9000-9100. It also referred to the market of notebooks where RADEON Mobility based solutions are gaining popularity now. 

Stream splitting

After that a part of the audience, actually the software developers, left the hall and headed toward the computer-room on the third floor. And then everyone including Richard Huddy (head of the delegation of the technical experts) submerged into the delightful world of technologies, shaders, codec and models. 

In course of the event, when they went out during the break, we could clearly see what the loads were there judging by their bright faces :-). 

Presentation go on...

In the hall for the press and representatives of trade companies the speakers kept on giving their presentations. The next one on the scene was Norbert Kuperjans, Technical Marketing Manager at ATI in Europe. 

He spoke about development of the graphics processors and video cards for the market of desktop systems. I guess you are well informed on the ATI's current state of affairs in this sector and it's not needed to list the products the company can offer today. Read our news and articles to be up on all the events. 

His speech was followed by a coffee-break during which the listeners could share their impressions while having a bite: 

During all the breaks everyone could take a closer look at the products of the ATI's partners, in particular, Gigabyte: 


HighTech Information System (HIS) 


Sapphire Technologies 


Presentations of the manufacturers

All speakers took the floor in the alphabetical order of the companies' names. First of all CP Technologies's representative told us about their solutions under the PowerColor trade mark (unfortunately, a strong Chinese accent made the English speech of the Chinese girl hard to understand). 

The next one was Connect3D which doesn't have a wide range of products on the Russian market yet. It's planning on taking the position #1 in Europe in selling the ATI based products. 

Gigabyte was the third on the scene. Here the listeners could relax and listen to the emotional speech of the company's representative because the Gigabyte's models are well known in Russia, and its authority is traditionally high. 

The last one in the second part was Norbert Kuperjans again who outlined the situation with ATI's products on the notebook market and on mobile graphics in general. 

He showed the chips with integrated memory (32 and 64 MB respectively): 

as well as with external memory: 

Then we had a break for lunch during which we kept on looking at products of the ATI's partners, in particular, the Sapphire's monster: RADEON 9700 PRO Ultimate Edition with a heatsink from Zalman (without a fan): 

The lunch wasn't scarce or dull at all as far as conversing with the ATI's guys is concerned; in the informal atmosphere they turned out to be very interesting people: 

Then we had two more speeches: from Hercules Technologies and HighTech Information System. The guys from Hercules were speaking in duet so sedately like big bosses :-) 

This part was also terminated by Norbert Kuperjans, this time with the ATI's solutions from the sphere of integrated graphics. 

After a small tea & coffee break the listeners came back to their seats feeling a bit sleepy and tired, that is why the strategy of Sapphire Technologies was cheering up the mass :-). 

Daniel Forster and Dogmar Forster - they are not simply son and mother, they are a harmonious duet! Especially when they asked the audience to create images of a too annoying cooler, an improved cooler and... a noiseless cooler (certainly, they meant the Ultimate Edition). 

Daniel speaks Russian a little, and his speech was, as he called it, mixing English-Russian. That was actually a performance, bright and animated, as well as funny combinations of Russian and English words which turned out to be an excellent "tonic" for the audience. 

YUAN was the last company in the series of speeches from the ATI's partners. 

At the end of the conference we listened to Sven Rathjen, ATI Sales Director in Europe who took up some aspects of the ATI's new policy in increasing sales and popularization of the ATI's products in Russia. 

Finally, ATI Vice Manager in Europe - Piter Edinger made an attempt to look to the future: 

However, his corporate interests held him tied to the general phrases and assurance that ATI would never leave the top position in 3D graphics as it already had a number of interesting solutions. 

When Mr. Edinger spoke in the morning the ATI's future plans were brought to the words Next Generation. But that idyl was destroyed by the next speech of a guy from CP Technology who presented the roadmap showing R350, RV350, R400 and their approximate implementation time. When the information was displayed the Vice President was taken aback at such straightforwardness. Nevertheless, I can inform you that the R350 based cards will appear in April this year, RV350 ones will come even a little earlier. Of course, this is just a plan and it can be corrected any time. The R400 is due to be released after July. 

End of the forum

After all the speeches both flows got together again to have a snack and share their impressions on what they saw and heard in the informal atmosphere. 

We hope that such evens from ATI Technologies will become regular and exciting, and all new products will be followed by bright and informative presentations. 

P.S. On the collage you can see boxes marked "Powered by ATI" with white tablets. They were distributed at the forum as souvenirs. The tablets bewitch those who eat them; eat just one and you will be a faithful fan of ATI... Today one such tablet was swallowed by one of the guys of the site "NVIDIA World"... in spite of my warning. If reviews at that site will start glorify RADEON, do not blame me :-) 

P.P.S. Surely, this is a joke. The boxes have very tasty mint candies. 

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