It began as an OEM, producing integrated graphics chips for large PC manufacturers like IBM. However, by the mid '90s it had evolved into an independent card retailer, marketing the ATI Rage 128 series under its own ATI moniker.
In addition to developing high-end GPU's for PCs, ATI also designs "lite" versions for laptops, PDAs, set-top boxes and other technology-based market segments.
Currently it is the main competitor of nVidia, whom also produces graphics cards. As of 2004, ATI's flagship product line is the Radeon series of graphics cards which directly compete with nVidia's GeForce graphics cards.
For the past several years the GPU market has largely followed a pattern whereby ATI releases a new product and controls the performance market (usually measured by a bevy of benchmarks and much bugaboo) but only for a short period of time. nVidia (or ATI depending on who releases what first) then releases its counter product and thereupon controls the performance market for yet another short period of time, ad infinitum.
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) symbol: ATY