ATI Preps Low-End RADEON X700 Flavour for OEMs

@ 2005/03/03
ATI Technologies confirmed on Thursday its RADEON X700 product lineup is about to get a yet another addition called the RADEON X700 SE which will be primarily targeted at OEMs and may eventually find its way to the retail, but that will not be available in really mass quantities, at least initially.

ATI RADEON X700 SE Enters the Scene

ATI’s RADEON X700 SE product will have cut-down specifications compared to the original RADEON X700 visual processing unit (VPU): the X700 SE flavour will feature 4 pixel pipelines instead of 8 and will have 64-bit memory access in contrast to 128-bit memory bus of the original X700. The RADEON X700 SE VPU will inherit 6 geometry processors from its more advanced brethren, providing rather excessive geometry performance. Core and memory frequencies of the RADEON X700 SE are unknown and may be chosen by system designers.

The spokesperson for ATI Technologies noted that the RADEON X700 SE is not a separate ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), but a RADEON X700 SE with half of the rendering pipelines disabled (a group of four pixel processors, or pipelines, is typically referred as “quad”) and memory controller operating in 64-bit mode. Markham, Ontario-based graphics chip designer said the RADEON X700 SE product should be currently considered as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) only and produced in very small quantities in order to fulfill certain orders, which may potentially indicate ATI’s strong yields of chips with 8 pixel processors working properly.

“It just does not make sense to sell fully-functional RADEON X700 chips with one quad disabled,” a spokesperson for ATI told X-bit labs.

The RADEON X700 SE is Not for RADEON X600-Series Replacement

ATI Technologies introduced three flavours of its mainstream PCI Express x16 graphics processor RADEON X700 (originally code-named RV410) – X700 XT, X700 PRO and X700 – that differed by performance and price in late September, 2004. By this time has ATI decided to discontinue the RADEON X700 XT model, but some graphics cards makers still have it in their product lines.

The RADEON X700 graphics processor aka RV410 is made using 0.11 micron process technology at TSMC and consists of 110 million of transistors. The chip has 8 pixel pipelines, half of which can be disabled, and 6 vertex pipelines, yielding more complex specifications compared to previous mainstream visual processing units by ATI Technologies. The RADEON X700-series supports innovative technologies found in the RADEON X800 family of visual processing units unveiled earlier in 2004, such as Shader Model 2.0b and 3Dc.

The emergence of the RADEON X700 SE which specifications are similar to what the RADEON X600-series products offer is not going to kick the latter out of the business, the company said. The company will continue to supply both product series, but the RADEON X700 SE is likely to be in very limited supplies and available only to certain OEMs.

Last year the company introduced its RADEON X800 SE visual processing unit exclusively for system makers. The model X800 SE actually made it to the retail, but in extremely small quantities and about a quarter after its introduction.

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