Graphics chip maker ATI extends patent deal with Intel

Graphics chip maker ATI Technologies Inc. has extended a patent cross-licensing deal with Intel Corp., and has also secured rights to build integrated graphics chips that will work with Intel's Pentium 4 800MHz front side bus.

The bus speed determines how fast data can be shuttled back and forth between the processor and other components in a PC, such as its graphics chip and memory components. Intel introduced the 800MHz bus for the Pentium 4 in April with its 875 chipset.

One gaming enthusiast said support for the faster bus should mean better graphics performance from ATI's chips.

"There's sometimes a bottleneck going into the CPU because of the clock speed and the RAM speeds. This should help fix that," said Jamie Eskdale, a gamer.

ATI and Intel have been close partners for some time. Earlier this year, the Markham, Ontario-based company obtained a license to build chipsets for Intel's Pentium M notebook chip, allowing notebook makers to use ATI's Mobility Radeon 7000 in their Pentium M notebooks.

(James Niccolai in Paris contributed to this report.)

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