The latest figures from the graphics chipset market show ATI moving slightly ahead of NVIDIA in the last quarter of 2003, with the company gaining significant ground in the standalone graphics chip arena.
The figures, from market research firm Mercury Research, show ATI with 24.9 per cent of the overall graphics hardware business, while NVIDIA was just 0.2 per cent behind on 24.7 per cent.
It's not a huge margin, but finally nosing ahead of NVIDIA after several years in the background is important for ATI, which has had a number of major technology wins that past year as its Radeon range outperformed and underpriced NVIDIA's GeForce FX cards, which also suffer from major cooling problems.
ATI has also supplanted NVIDIA as the supplier of graphics technology in Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 2, with the system expected to use an advanced variant on the Radeon chipset, and the company has also been retained to work on graphics technology in Nintendo's next generation system.
Although these figures cover the entire graphics market, including the largely irrelevant (from a games industry perspective) integrated chipset market as well as other more relevant sectors, Mercury also notes that NVIDIA lost ground to ATI in the key standalone graphics chip market.