DigiTimes notes that both Nvidia's and ATI's next generation cards will be the last AGP cards
they'll ever release. This isn't surprising as both companies are ramping up boards as soon as PCI-Express is released. PCI-Express though somewhat boring from an enthusiast point of view will be a major change in the OEM market.
ATI Technologies and Nvidia will both launch new-generation AGP8X chips in the second quarter aiming to sustain their market shares before they start marketing chips supporting PCI Express standards, according to sources familiar with the roadmaps of the two companies.
The two new chips are ATI’s R420 and Nvidia’s NV40. Both chips were highlighted at CeBIT 2004 held in Hannover, Germany, this week. The two chips will be the last generation mainstream AGP8X chips before the PCI Express chips take the reins, said the sources.
The launches of the two chips are important for ATI and Nvidia to enforce their current market positions because Intel’s new chipsets supporting the PCI Express technology will not be available until the end of the second quarter, undermining the chance for PCI Express to become mainstream before the end of this year, the sources said.
Edit: It's more likely that the R420 is the last card designed specifically for AGP 8X. ATI's future cards will probably be designed for PCI-Express and use a bridge chip to work in an AGP slot.