ATI - Hercules Partnership Defies nVidia

ATI - Hercules Partnership Defies nVidia ATI - Hercules Partnership Defies nVidia

We reported the possibility of Hercules spreading its wings past nVidia back in June 2001. It is now official. ATI and Hercules have forged a "strategic partnership" involving worldwide access to the latest ATI 3D graphics technologies for Hercules, and European exclusivity for the ALL-IN-WONDER products including RADEON 8500 DV technology.

ATI was on the prowl for a high - profile distributor that would be able to break the company into the mainstream graphics market, from where it would be able to wage proper war on nVidia. Previous ATI distributors including Gigabyte, FIC, DFI and Jetway were just not big enough to give the graphics maker that big push it needed, especially in the high - end market.
Hercules, on the other hand made a lot of money selling the Kyro 2 but eventually was "black listed" by nVidia and had certain GeForce 3 and Ti privileges withheld.

It was obvious then, how a partnership giving Hercules exclusivity to high-end chips and ATI access to the mainstream, might be considered by the companies as mutually beneficial.

Read the full press release by following the link below and to the right...

ATI Technologies Inc., a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, and Hercules, European leader in graphics retail boards, announced today a strategic partnership to develop a range of graphics products, including high-end boards for the hardcore gamer and the family user. Hercules will market through a European Exclusive Agreement ATI's new ALL-IN-WONDER products including ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500 DV technology in retail and distribution channels. This exciting technology is number one worldwide and already counts for 14% of the United States 3D retail market value (NPD Intelect/PC Data: January to November 2001).

Hercules will also have worldwide access to the latest ATI 3D graphics technologies, including ATI's RADEON 8500 chip. ATI products have been designed to support the latest DirectX 8.1 3D application-specific interface (API), resulting in support for more games and delivering the most realistic images possible on a PC screen. Hercules will take advantage of this technology to manufacture the most powerful high-end graphics cards in its 3D Prophet™ branded product offerings.

"ATI provides the most advanced technology for both 3D gaming and digital PCTV applications. This partnership is a strategic shift for Hercules to meet the expectations of both the digital generation and the most demanding gamers," said Claude Guillemot, President of Hercules Technologies. "ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON is the leading product to combine PC and the TV, video editing and DVD playback and proves extremely user-friendly."

"Our agreement with Hercules is proof that ATI is accepted as a leading provider of graphics acceleration technology for the gaming community," said Dave Orton, President and COO of ATI. "The combination of our proven technologies and Hercules expertise will provide customers with the most advanced solutions in multimedia and entertainment. This is a very important step for ATI and its continuing success in the retail market."

Hercules, a leading brand name in the games segment, will bring to retail, distribution and system integration markets in Europe the top-rated ALL-IN-WONDER® RADEON™ 8500DV. The ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV is a unique solution which combines top-performing 3D graphics for gaming, and the most advanced PCTV tuner functions with Personal Video Recorder capability and European teletext support as well as digital video editing for enthusiast PC users. ATI is revolutionizing the 3D gaming experience with its hardware acceleration and full support of new DirectX® 8.1 features to deliver more complex texture and lighting effects than ever before.

Hercules products powered by ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON, will begin shipping in February, 2002.

About ATI
Founded in 1985, ATI Technologies Inc. is a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions for the personal computer and Mac platforms. The pioneer, innovator and market leader in the graphics industry, ATI provides cutting-edge technologies for the PC, workstation, set-top box, game console and other consumer appliances markets. The Company has more than 1,900 employees supporting customers from its headquarters in Markham, Ontario, Canada, as well as from offices in Barbados, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States. ATI common shares trade on NASDAQ (ATYT) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (ATY).