Join Date: Jan 2002
ATI R300, R300 & RV350
Following on from the “High End Competition Sustained?” report, in which ATI’s COO, Dave Orton, talked of R350, RV350 and R400, area3d has a translation of an interview with ATI’s CEO, K.Y. Ho, from PCPop. In the interview K.Y. seems confident that they will still be the performance leader once R350 and RV350 are introduced. To that end, the aforementioned Digitimes article that, talks of Nvidia and TSMC .13um conference, mentions that K.Y. Ho visited TSMC recently to evaluate their .13um process as they are planning to ramp up production of RV350 later this month. While NVIDIA have been having issues with the transition to .13um it seems as though ATI have quietly been implementing it as well, however it seems likely that RV350 is a lower end part and hence probably not as complicated as either R300/350 or NVIDIA’s NV30 which could signify why they have been able to move to the process without much apparent issue.
However, we now have confirmation that R350 is indeed based on the .15um process, considering it is supposed to be the new high end replacement for R300 you have to wonder how it is going to compete with NV30. Although we’ve been relatively surprised by the speeds ATI have managed from R300, its going to be tough going to see a large volume of production samples reaching speeds close to NV30’s. one possible answer, as x-bit labs speculate, is that ATI may add a second texturing unit to each pixel pipeline, to increase the texture rate per cycle. While this method is probably not the direction that graphics cards are headed as applications making use of long shaders come into play, it could certainly provide a benefit on current gaming titles that are still very texture dependant, especially as Anisotropic filtering is being utilized more frequently. Of course, if R350 has a similar memory interface as R300 then with the flexibility of DDR or higher speed DDR-II and a 256-bit interface it should have plenty of bandwidth available to it.
Meanwhile, R300 continues to show a few more previously unseen facets. While we’ve heard of some R300 boards getting up to 400MHz, x-bit labs goes in for some very extreme cooling in order to see what Radeon 9700 PRO can do at 450/800MHz. Also, ATI have alluded to multi-chip R300 configurations previously, but now Evans & Sutherland have one for sale. E&S are debuting the simFUSION 6000 at I/ITSEC, which is available in configurations of 2 or 4 9700 PRO chips per board, and is able to produce up to 24 sample Antialiasing.
Expand. Accelerate. Dominate.
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