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David Orton, CEO, ATI Technologies

Number 21: Revenue's up at the graphics chipmaker, which the CEO attributes to product mix and the channelrn

The year ended explosively for graphics chipmaker ATI Technologies, which racked up a second consecutive quarter of record revenue.

For the period ending Aug. 31, income was up 44 per cent as the company battles back for market share after being pushed around for several years by nVidia. Both,

however, are being manhandled by graphics chips from Intel.

David Orton, who was president and chief operating officer until June, when he added the title of CEO, credits the company’s diversification.

“”The PC business was the cornerstone from a growth standpoint,”” he said, “”[thanks to] the products we brought to market, as well as the strength of the channel. Right behind that we were seeing four and five times growth in our handheld and digital television business.””

While desktop graphic cards and integrated motherboard graphics chipsets are still the company’s bread and butter, he noted that the fastest growing segment are the cellphone-TV products.

Still, the company is now pushing hard into getting its chipsets accepted by makers of lower-priced motherboards, where system builders might welcome seeing the ATI brand. Orton estimates the company has only two per cent of this market.

He acknowledged that several years ago ATI wasn’t strong among system builders in this country, which the company has taken steps to remedy.

“”There’s areas we could still do better in,”” he added, “”in terms of marketing programs and channel pull for our products. We continue to work with partners and distributors to identify the most effective way to do that. In 2005 you’ll see ATI come out with innovative programs for the channel with our partners to create end-market demand in Canada and around the world.””

Not only that, he said, there will be both revolutionary and evolutionary new products.