NVIDIA own the graphics workstation market, overall. With some 69% of unit share, the figures are fairly overwhelming. With 3DLabs recently giving up in that space, that pretty much leaves ATI to keep the jolly green giant honest. To be fair to both companies, Quadro is worthy of the corporate spend and FireGL has been lacking until recently.
The PCI Express FireGL V7100 made the mid-range to high-end workstation vendors take notice, its pricing (under the Quadro FX 3400's at launch) helping sales along decently.
It's not been enough, though, and ATI recognise the need for a very high performance FireGL flagship to kickstart a fresh round of brand awareness, spike some sales and get the whole FireGL brand executing on a level the company are happy with.
Speaking to ATI's Dinesh Sharma (Director of their Workstation Products Division) recently, it's clear to HEXUS that he's looking to spearhead a concerted and concentrated push for the top spot in workstation performance, with new flagship hardware that attempts to wrest control of the top stop from NVIDIA's Quadro FX 4500.
It's that new hardware that ATI are introducing today, and that which we cover in this introductory piece. So if you're at all interested in workstation products, or if you simply want to gaze lustfully at the first mass-production graphics product with a 1GiB framebuffer, clickety click.