Intel is said to be looking to ATI to keep its foot in the low-end desktop motherboard market.
According to a report in Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial Times today, Intel has ordered RS480-based PCI Express chipsets from ATI to bolster its entry-level offerings.
Sources cited by DigiTimes claim the chipset in question is the RC410.
Either way, it's claimed the part will be used in place of Intel's own 915 chipset series, which the chip giant is expected to drop toward the end of the year. It has also been said to be preparing to ditch its 865 chipset family, which will be replaced in Intel-made mobos by SiS' 661FX or 661GX, depending on whether you believe DigiTimes' sources or the Commercial Times' moles.
Intel confirmed early last month that it was scaling back production of entry-level desktop chipsets in order to free capacity for more lucrative parts. It said it would increase low-end chipset output as and when there was sufficient manufacturing capacity to do so.
Its statement followed claims in the Taiwanese press that it was quitting that part of the market.
Whether it gets out of the market or not, in the short-term Intel needs low-end chipsets for its motherboard product lines, so buying chipsets from ATI and SiS - Nvidia kit is too high-end, and we can't see Intel being happy buying from its old sparring partner VIA - is entirely plausible. The Commercial Times claimed the chip giant has ordered 1.5m chipsets from ATI and SiS together. ®