ATI Has Been Testing R580 Since July: New Chip May Be Around the Corner

@ 2005/11/12
Sources close to ATI Technologies have said that the company has been testing its forthcoming high-end graphics processing unit (GPU) since July, 2005. The chip, which is due to be out early in 2006 is claimed to be a rapid one by persons familiar with the matter.

“It is really fast,” a person who knows approximate performance estimates of the code-named R580 graphics processor said. Another source noted that ATI Technologies has been “playing” with the code-named R580 part since early July, 2005, at least, trying to clock it at different speeds and measure its performance afterwards.

Rumours that have been circulating around the Web indicated that the internally known as the R580 graphics chip supports up to 48 pixel processors, 8 or more vertex processors and work at high clock-speeds. The chip, however, is expected to have from 16 texture mapping units (TMU), less that could be expected. The product is to support Shader Model 3.0, ring-bus memory controller, GDDR4 memory type and other innovations.

Earlier this year an Asian web-site published a slide entitled “ATI’s 90nm Technology Advantage” that described the company’s success with the 90nm process technology at TSMC manufacturer. According to the slide, not only code-named R520, RV530 and RV515, which are to ship under RADEON X1800, X1600 and X1300 names respectively, but also R580 – which is believed to be a faster incarnation of the R520 – were “in house and working”. The slide also claimed that the products were “ready for Fall shipments”.

ATI did not comment on the news-story.

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