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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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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?

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