Looking to speed the acceptance of its recently introduced i740 graphics chip, Intel will within the next few months introduce a graphics add-in card based on the chip.
The board will be sold through Intel distributors and Genuine Intel Dealers, not through the retail channel, according to Intel officials.
The graphics card is expected to compete with products that have already been announced by Diamond Multimedia, Leadtek, Number Nine, Real3D and STB.
Intel is offering the i740 in card form to speed penetration of the device, said Dean McCarron, principal at US-based Mercury Research.
"It's a way of enabling a market," McCarron said.
Limiting sales to distributors and dealers keeps the card from direct competition with other card vendors' products, McCarron says. He also says traditionally, graphics chip vendors that also sell graphics cards, do not sell chips to other card makers.
Two traditional reasons other vendors might have to enter the card business do not apply to Intel -- there are already cards to allow consumers to upgrade, and graphics cards are not highly profitable, McCarron noted.
"The i740 already has a substantial number of board vendors," McCarron said. "And it's not a high-margin business."www.intel.com