The Mobility Radeon 7500 - NVIDIA and ATI Go Head to Head In The Mobile Market

With a market share of nearly 55%, ATI quietly dominates the mobile graphics market. Although it does not currently control the desktop graphics market, ATI's mobile graphics solutions have become the standard for the majority of OEMs who are in the mobile graphics market. The Mobility Radeon 7500 is ATI's latest answer to the NVIDIA GeForce2 Go that was released last year.

With the release of the NVIDIA GeForce2 Go, NVIDIA took a bold step forward in mobile graphics performance. The GeForce2 Go finally made it possible to play 3D-oriented games with intense graphics and serious horsepower requirements previously unavailable in mobile platforms. True desktop replacement notebooks have become more than just a marketing department fantasy. With the NVIDIA GeForce2 Go, you can go to a LAN party with a laptop and not be laughed out of the room.

The Mobility Radeon 7500 was already on ATI's road map prior to the release of the GeForce2 Go, and ATI didn't miss a beat with its release of this new mobile graphics processor. With the release of its Mobility Radeon 7500, ATI's goal was not only to show the world that they are the leader in mobile graphics processor technology, but also to release the most "kick ass" GPU in the mobile graphics market space. The Mobility Radeon 7500 is built on much of the same technology as the Radeon 7500, and it is more feature-rich and powerful than the NVIDIA GeForce2 Go. Not to be outdone for long, however, NVIDIA plans to answer this challenge with its yet unreleased NV17M mobile processor, which is scheduled to ship later this year.

An ongoing, major complaint about NVIDIA's GeForce2 Go processor has been the lack of laptop computers using this new technology. Since its launch, only four major companies are marketing notebooks that feature the GeForce2

Go. This is likely due to the long-standing business relationships many OEMs have with ATI, coupled with OEM satisfaction with ATI's products' levels of performance and stability. These considerations have made the mobile graphics market more challenging for NVIDIA to crack than they likely anticipated. Industry sources indicate that ATI has already been awarded at least fifteen design wins for the Mobility Radeon 7500, which means that there will soon be more mobile products sporting this GPU.

The laptop/ notebook market is very different from the desktop market. The normal eighteen-month design cycle for a typical laptop/ notebook is much longer than that for an equivalent desktop configuration, and requires more research and development dollars, as well. As a result, it is difficult for OEMs to make material changes in the laptop/ notebook design during the lifecycle of a production run for a product build. In most cases, laptop/ notebook graphics chips are integrated into the board design and can't simply be swapped out, as with video cards in a desktop product.