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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: 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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