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Taking a jab at rival Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices is introducing a series of new mobile graphics chips today designed for everything from low-cost laptops to high-end gaming notebooks.

The new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series is aimed at raising the bar for graphics performance in mobile computers. The company is unveiling the chips at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where AMD chief executive Dirk Meyer is giving one of the keynote speeches.

The products are low-power versions of the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series launched six months ago and could give Nvidia some serious competition. The desktop chips were so good — hitting at the sweet spot of the graphics market — that AMD took a lot of market share away from Nvidia. Nvidia, in turn, has scored some good business with Apple. But AMD hopes to pull the same feat in the mobile market now. The question is whether people really want to pay more for good graphics on their laptops.

The company has segmented the market to target four types of consumers: gamers, consumers who want high performance but thin laptops, mainstream users, and those who want cheaper and lightweight laptops with good battery life.

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The graphics are good enough to run the most popular video games and play high-quality videos. The chips will be available at the end of the first quarter in new laptops. AMD will announce its customers at a later date.

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