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AMD packs next-generation AVIVO high-definition video decoding features into its value and mainstream lineup

AMD’s next-generation value and mainstream products are set to bring DirectX 10 and high-definition video playback to the masses. Although AMD is late to the DirectX 10 game, the upcoming RV610 and RV630 feature second-generation unified shaders with shader model 4.0 support. AMD has remained hush over the amount of unified shaders and shader clock speeds of its next-generation value and mainstream products though.

AMD is prepared to take on NVIDIA’s PureVideo HD with its next-generation AVIVO video processing. AVIVO is receiving its first upgrade since its introduction with the Radeon X1k-series with the RV610 and RV630. This time around, AMD is integrating its Universal Video Decoder, or UVD, for hardware decoding of H.264 and VC-1 high-definition video formats.

AMD’s UVD expands on the previous generation’s AVIVO implementation to include hardware bit stream processing and entropy decode functions. Hardware acceleration of frequency transform, pixel prediction and deblocking functions remain supported, as with the first generation AVIVO processing. AMD’s Advanced Video Processor, or AVP, has also made the cut for low power video processing.

Integrated HDMI with support for HDCP joins the next-generation AVIVO video processing for protected high-definition video playback. Unlike current HDMI implementations on PCIe graphics cards, RV610 and RV630 integrate audio functionality into the GPU. Instead of passing a PCM or Dolby Digital signal from onboard audio or a sound card, RV610 and RV630-based graphics cards can directly output audio – removing the need of a separate sound card.

RV610 and RV630 support PCIe 2.0 for increased bandwidth. Native support for CrossFire remains, as with current ATI Radeon X1650 XT and X1950 Pro products. AMD will also debut RV610 and RV630 on a 65nm manufacturing processor for low-power consumption. Expect RV610 products to consume around 25 to 35-watts. RV630 requires more power at around 75 to 128-watts.

AMD currently has four RV610 reference designs based on two RV610 variants – Antelope FH, Antelope LP, Falcon FH and Falcon LP reference boards and RV610LE and RV610PRO GPUs. Antelope FH and Antelope LP are similar; however, Antelope LP is the low-profile variant. Both reference boards feature 128MB or 256MB of DDR2 video memory clocked at 400 MHz. Antelope boards employ the RV610LE, feature passive cooling and consume less than 25-watts of power.

AMD’s Falcon LP reference board is another low-profile model with 256MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 700 MHz. Falcon LP takes advantage of a DMS-59 connector for dual video outputs while maintaining a low profile form factor. The Falcon LP reference board employs active cooling to cool the RV610LE or RV610PRO GPU.

AMD Antelope FH, Antelope LP and Falcon LP only support software CrossFire – all lack support for the CrossFire bridge connectorHKEPC confirmed this CrossFire setup in a recent report last week.

The Falcon FH reference board is the performance variant and designed for the RV610PRO ASIC with 256MB of GDDR3 video memory. AMD estimates board power consumption at approximately 35-watts, though it is unknown if Falcon FH boards will feature active or passive cooling. Falcon FH is the only RV610 reference board to support AMD’s CrossFire bridge connector for hardware CrossFire support. Falcon FH also features VIVO capabilities.

RV630 has three reference board configurations – Kohinoor, Orloff and Sefadu. Kohinoor is the high-performance RV630 variant and features 256MB or 512MB of GDDR4 memory. It also features VIVO and dual dual-link DVI outputs. However, it consumes the most power out of the three RV630 reference boards, requiring 121-watts for 256MB models and 128-watts for 512MB models.

Orloff falls in the middle with 256MB of GDDR3 video memory. Orloff lacks the video input features of Kohinoor but supports HDMI output. AMD estimates Orloff to consume less than 93-watts of power. Kohinoor and Orloff support PCIe 2.0 and native CrossFire. Kohinoor and Orloff require additional power via PCIe power connector though.

Sefadu falls at the bottom of the RV630 lineup and features 256MB or 512MB of DDR2 video memory. HDMI remains supported, as with Orloff though. Power consumption is estimated at less than 75-watts, and does not require the additional power supplied by a PCIe power connector. All RV630 boards feature 128-bit memory interfaces and occupy a  single-slot.

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RE: Darn
By R3MF on 3/13/2007 7:42:44 AM , Rating: 0
AMD and nVidia should both be using 256bit buses and 1600MHz GDDR3 for their top mid-range cards providing 51.2GB/sec bandwidth.

128bit buses should be forever relegated to the low-end.

an 8600GTS will likely cost £160 on release, roughly half the price of an 8800GTX, therefore i EXPECT roughly half the bandwidth of the GTX, not a third, especially now that AMD are going to release products with over 128GB/sec bandwidth.

If i feel like i am being short-changed i am unlikely to buy.

I feel short-changed by the proposed new midrange cards.

RE: Darn
By saratoga on 3/13/2007 12:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Pins are really, really expensive. Adding more pins means you need a big die (more transistors). If they can get away with a 128 bit bus, they're going to do it. I don't know what it's like for AMD or Nvidia's parts, but in general theres going to be a hard limit on how small you can make a die and still have enough room for 256 data pins. Which means that certain segments of the market are always going to be 128 bit.

RE: Darn
By TechLuster on 3/13/2007 3:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you're saying, but consider the following:

Assuming G84 has 64 shaders as expected and assuming it had 2/3 the ROP's of the GTX (as opposed 1/3 if it uses a 128-bit mem interface as expected--more on this later), then it should end up around 300-400 million transistors. On an 80nm process, this will result in roughly the same die size as the 256-bit G71 (7900). Furthemore, the X1950 PRO has 330 million on an 80nm process with a 256-bit interface.

So if they can sell us 7900's and X1950's with 256-bit connections for around $150 now (my $140 EVGA 7900GS KO arrived yesterday), why can't they sell us a ~$225 G84/RV630 with 256-bit memory interfaces? I think this is exactly what enthusiasts on a budget have been waiting for.

In the case of G84, a 128-bit interface with the GeForce 8 architecture implies these cards will only have 1/3 the ROP's of the 8800GTX. Hence, the first wave of midrange cards from Nvidia will be crippled in two ways (both memory and ROP power). Hence, I believe G84 is just a stopgap until they can roll out midrange cards on 65nm using GDDR4. This will allow them to increase both core and mem clocks, making up for the lack of ROP power and bus width. They're not giving us more hardware in the meantime so that they can maintain pin-combatability with the 6600/7600GT's.

(Of course, we all know what they really should have given us: a 384MB 192-bit midrange card. How perfect would that have been?)

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