ATI: 80nm ASIC Production OK
Anh Tuan Huynh
June 16, 2006 9:50 AM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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.
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
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: R600 on 80nm or 65nm?
6/19/2006 3:20:18 PM
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?
6/19/2006 5:54:39 PM
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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