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ATI ships Radeon 9600 Pro

Plus SiS launches its 800MHz FSB chipset

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Reg Kit Watch

Graphics

ATI has begun shipping its Radeon 9600 Pro graphics chip and card, earlier than originally planned but a little later than the part's re-scheduled ship date.

On 2 April, ATI marketing chief Rick Bergman said the company's Radeon 9600 products would ship "later this month". ATI missed that by a week or so, but what's seven-odd days among friends?

The 9600 Pro supports up to 128MB of DDR SDRAM across a 128-bit bus. It supports AGP 8x, and provides four parallel rendering pipelines with two geometry engines running side by side. It can drive monitor resolutions of up to 2048x1536 in 32-bit colour. Analog and digital monitor connection are provided, along with TV-out.

Once again, ATI stressed its use of TSMC's 0.13 micron process technology, a tacit dig at its arch-rival, Nvidia. TSMC has been blamed for the problems Nvidia has had getting 0.13 micron chips to market. By stating how happy it is with said process, ATI is effectively saying Nvidia's problems are its own fault. And given Nvidia's decision to use IBM as well as TSMC, ATI's comments are calculated to encourage TSMC to view ATI as a better customer than Nvidia. Machiavellian or what?

Chipsets

SiS has introduced the SiS655FX chipset. Designed to support Intel's Pentium 4 200MHz quad-pumped frontside bus - for an effective clock frequency of 800MHz - the chipset also provides 400MHz DDR and AGP 8x support.

The chipset's North Bridge connects to the SiS964 South Bridge across a 1GBps link based on SiS' Hyperstreaming technology which debuted with SiS' AMD-oriented SiS758 chipset in March. ®

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