Print 13 comment(s) - last by NextGenGamer20.. on Jun 19 at 5:54 PM

ATI claims it is on track with 80nm production

ATI has responded to previous allegations that its 80nm manufacturing process was going to be delayed. DigiTimes reports ATI has already completed a trial production run of 80nm parts and on track to move to 80nm in September with a 65nm transition expected in 2007. RV560, RV570, RV516 and RV505 mainstream and budget products are expected to be the first to move over to the new 80nm process. The new 80nm parts are expected to have an internal CrossFire compositing chip for dongle-less CrossFire capabilities.

NVIDIA has no intentions of moving over to 80nm and responded to ATI’s 80nm plans.  DigiTimes claims:

Rival NVIDIA, in response to ATI's earlier entry into 80nm production, stated that the company currently has no plans to migrate its GPU manufacturing to the 80nm node. NVIDIA declined to comment on ATI's move and said that its manufacturing process technology roadmap and related strategies will be announced at the appropriate time.

Another interesting tidbit in the report is the mention of ATI’s next high end GPU—the R580+. It is expected the R580+ will be an interim product that is essentially the R580 with GDDR4 support till R600 is ready. R580+ is expected to be available by the end of the year, possibly in time for the holiday shopping season.  However, R580+ is not supposed to be an 80nm component.

Naming and pricing of 80nm and R580+ products are unknown at the moment, though it is known the components will still be part of the X1000-series family. As the new 80nm parts are replacing current mainstream and budget X1600 and X1300 products, expect similar pricing. Previous roadmaps have indicated RV560 and RV570 would come in September and August of this year, respectively.

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R580+ Release Date
By Nightmare225 on 6/16/2006 3:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
Did anyone else notice how the R580+ has probably been pushed back? This might mean that R600 is being released later than expected. Looks like I'll be getting the X1900XT after all...

RE: R580+ Release Date
By cochy on 6/16/2006 4:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
Ya...I've been holding back getting a new PC until the next gen vid cards come out. I was hoping they'd be out by years end.

RE: R580+ Release Date
By NextGenGamer2005 on 6/16/2006 4:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
ATI's R600 is on track. It just recently taped out, and it usually takes 4 to 6 months from tape-out to mass production, putting the official release right around December 2006. R580+, on the other hand, I'm not too sure about. Anything later then September release would be entirely pointless (nobody liked the whole Radeon X1800 XT being replaced four months later by the Radeon X1900 XTX fiasco, so ATI doesn't want a repeat of that). R580+ is really just Radeon X1900 XT, running at 700MHz core (most likey anyway) and using ultra high-speed GDDR4 memory (think 2.00GHz+ effective).

RE: R580+ Release Date
By KristopherKubicki on 6/16/2006 5:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
ATI's R600 is on track. It just recently taped out, and it usually takes 4 to 6 months from tape-out to mass production, putting the official release right around December 2006.

I totally agree with you. However, keep in mind R520 was taped out 3 separate times. Just because a chip is taped out doesn't mean it's the final revision.

RE: R580+ Release Date
By hwhacker on 6/16/2006 11:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
Right on all accounts on the R600 matter, we don't know if the first tape-out is a success. I'm sure we'll hear some leaks as soon as some first revision samples get around.

R580+ on the other-hand, i'm surprised they havn't mentioned more specifics about. Since it's seemingly the same chip, and that chip supports GDDR4, it'd seemingly only need a pcb trace change, right? They should push that thing out ASAP to compete with the 7950X2. I suppose they probably want to run down their R580 inventory first and then start to phase it out before launching. Perhaps that's what's happening now.

RE: R580+ Release Date
By PLaYaHaTeD on 6/17/2006 1:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
When is nvidia's next gen chip going to hit the shelves? I'm hoping it's sometime before the end of the year, because I am in a hurry to build a new system with conroe/965. However, I can't proceed as planned until I can get a next-gen, DX10 capable card to shove in there as well.

RE: R580+ Release Date
By Lakku on 6/17/2006 5:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
Unless it's been delayed or had a change in design, the G80 should be out in the fall sometime, which would make sense if they are following a 6 to 9 month refresh. However, even though it's all rumor, many have said the G80 won't be 100% DX10 compatible, though it will get the designation of being a DX10 part. Mainly, it is supposed to be a hybrid design that doesn't fully implement SM 4.0. You don't need to be unified to be DX10 or SM 4.0, but I am just pointing it out. Anyway, it should still be a good chip considering DX10 titles won't be out till early to mid 2007 and should give a boost to todays games. Mainly, if it supports HDR+FSAA and they go back to having non angle dependent aniso like they used to have, I will get it.

RE: R580+ Release Date
By Spoonbender on 6/17/2006 8:03:21 AM , Rating: 2
Considering Microsoft has said they'll no longer accept all those chips that "partially" implement a shader spec, or "extend it" (So no more DX9.0b++, for example), I think it's highly unlikely that NVidia would make a chip that only partially follows the SM4.0 spec. It'd just be classified as a 3.0 chip, and then they might as well not have bothered.

Anyway, the only place I've seen the rumour about it not being 100% compatible is on The Inquirer, which seems to be unable to grasp that the SM4.0 specs doesn't require your actual hardware to use unified shaders. All that matters is the API that's presented to DirectX and to the developers.
They seem to believe that because it's hybrid, it can't follow the 4.0 specs, which is wrong.

Btw, last I heard, G80 was supposed to be out around september. But we'll see... :)

RE: R580+ Release Date
By Clauzii on 6/18/2006 6:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't Taped Out mean that the chip has went into full production on the tape rolls iow. no need to do single chip runs for evaluation?

R600 on 80nm or 65nm?
By Warren21 on 6/18/2006 1:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
In more than one article, everyone's favourite rumour mill, TheInq, has stated how ATI plans to make this the biggest and fastest chip ever. One earlier R600 article claims they aim for the 1000MHz core clock mark. They also hinted that the chip therefore might be (or rather, need) 65nm to hit those clocks. However, if the late '06/early '07 date is correct, then that would still be too early for 65nm production (Which I assume is slated more towards the middle of '07). Hitting such high clocks on a larger process (80nm vs 65nm) would require a very advanced and clean electrical curcuit for good power flow and high voltages. Then again, I hope to see a very efficient and innovative cooler with the R600 in order to cool it effectively, and hopefully more than 16 pipes (Maybe 20? It's also rumoured to be a 64 shader part, so that would fall inline with ATI's 1:3 ratio.

On a more mundane note, I wonder what naming scheme they'll pull out. Will it simply be X2800 leaving one or two model series designations for refresh parts? Maybe go straight to the top and take the X2900 name, but I think it's more realistic that it be called the X2700 just like the 9000 series. The first high end was the 9700 (R300) and it was ATI's first card for the new DX9 standard. Now 3 years later, The R600 is to take the first swipe at another DirectX standard, and is the basis for the entire series. And will we keep the Pro/XL/XT/XTX or change the new XT Platium Edition replacement (XTX) because it is even more laughable (100$+ for 50 MHz on the core and 100 MHz on the memory..)?

RE: R600 on 80nm or 65nm?
By Clauzii on 6/18/2006 7:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
With 64 unified shaders I think it will be 65..

RE: R600 on 80nm or 65nm?
By Trisped on 6/19/2006 3:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they change the architecture, it will not be 64 shaders. From what I remember, all the X cards have had the pixel and shader pipelines joined into one unit at a 1:3 ratio. So, if they have 16 of these units they end up with 16 pixel pipelines and 48 shader pipelines. If they have 20 it becomes 20/60 and if they have 22 it becomes 22/66. Still, with DX10 they don’t have to observe the dedicated ratios, so they might just end up with a nice 64 shared shaders at a higher speed. I personally like the greater number of shaders vs the higher clock speeds, but that means more silicon/complexity which would result in lower yields, plus there would be more management required to make sure the additional units all play together properly.

Anyways, my bet is that the R600 will be on 65nm, otherwise they will not be able to compete with NVIDIA. (the X1900 already has 64 shaders, 16 vertex and 48 pixels)

RE: R600 on 80nm or 65nm?
By NextGenGamer2005 on 6/19/2006 5:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
The Radeon X1900 XT/XTX has 48 pixel shaders and 8 vertex shaders, so 56 shader units total. R600 will implement a 4:1 ratio of shader units to texture units: so 16 TMUs (same as Radeon X800, X850, X1800, X1900) with four unified shader units each (for a grand total of 64). Remember that each one of those shader units can do any pixel, vertex, or geometry (that's the new shader introduced in DirectX 10) operation. That will give R600 a huge advantage over NVIDIA's G80 in any scence that requires lots of vertex or geometry processing, since NVIDIA will most likely implement 10 of each in G80 (along with at least 48 pixel shader units).

As for the 65-nm process, TSMC is on track to start mass production of 65-nm parts in Q4 2006, so ATI could easily release R600 on 65-nm during the holidays (or early in January to coincide with the Windows Vista launch). If, as someone else pointed out, the first tape-out was relatively successful (and with the most advanced chip design to date, that is hoping for a small miracle).

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