ATI Takes Blame for Apple Leak

BOSTON (07/24/2000) - ATI Technologies Inc. said Monday that it is taking responsibility for letting the cat out of the bag on some of Apple Computer Inc.'s new Macs prior to Steve Jobs' news-rich keynote speech at MacWorld Expo last week.

ATI provided new product details two days before Apple chief Jobs took center stage July 19 in New York. Apple uses graphics cards from ATI, which offered the mention of new products in a schedule for the MacWorld show that was released by Business Wire Trade Show Services.

The pressing question now is whether there will be consequences for ATI. Apple was "obviously upset" by the leak, which led to "fairly lengthy discussions" between the two companies, said Brian Chadderton, an ATI spokesman.

The debacle was sparked by a three-line statement:

"In a keynote, wait for Apple to announce three new systems with ATI graphics in them," said the statement released by Business Wire Trade Show Services.

"One will be an iMac with the RAGE 4XL chip, the remaining two are PowerMacs which will ship with RAGE 128 PRO standard and RADEON."

ATI spokesman Brian Chadderton said the Canadian-based chip maker is accepting blame for the miscue.

"From ATI's perspective, information was erroneously provided to (Business Wire)," Chadderton said. "We take full responsibility for that."

Since the mishap, discussions have taken place between ATI and Apple about their relationship, Chadderton said. ATI has provided hardware for Apple since 1996. Apple currently utilizes ATI's Rage 128 Pro graphics card and the necessary drivers in all of its current models. The problematic release said that new Power Macs would ship with the 32M-byte Radeon chip.

Radeon was for demonstration purposes only at MacWorld and a deal was never finalized on Apple using the technology, Chadderton said. But he acknowledged that from ATI's perspective, a deal was in the works.

"It's never a done deal until you start shipping," he said.

The Radeon chip comes with 32M bytes of DDR (double data rate) memory and supports both VGA (video graphics array) monitors and digital flat-panel displays. It can support resolutions up to 1,920 pixels by 1,440 pixels and can be hooked up to a large screen television. AGP (accelerated graphics port) and PCI (peripheral component interface) versions are expected to be available in September, according to ATI.

"Radeon is still on the table," Chadderton said. "There is still ongoing discussions. Any other comments have to come from Apple."

Apple has no comment on the matter, a company spokeswoman said.

ATI Technologies, in Thornhill, Ontario, can be reached at +1-905-882-2600 or at http://www.ati.com/. Apple, in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-996-1010 or at http://www.apple.com/.

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