Feeds

ATI's shift to 32-bit precision close, says company chief

But forget about 64-bit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

ATI graphics processors will offer 32-bit pixel shader precision "pretty soon", the company's president and COO, Dave Orton, said last week.

Interviewed by Japan's PC Watch, Orton said that the company has "no intention" of sticking with 24-bit precision, as delivered by its current high-end chips.

That, claims Xbit Labs, fingers the upcoming R420 as ATI's first 32-bit pixel shader chip, though Orton himself didn't make any forecast as to which GPU will make the move from 24-bit precision.

Nvidia's processors already support 32-bit precision. Microsoft's DirectX 9 API requires a minimum of 24-bit pixel shader precision, which is why ATI has stuck at that level so far. A future iteration of DirectX may lift the bar to 32-bit.

However, while Orton expects a move to 32-bit precision to come soon, going to the next level, 64-bit precision may take longer - if it comes at all.

Recalling his experience at SGI, Orton noted the considerable difficulty of getting 64-bit precision to work. Never say never, he added, but he can't see graphics chips offering 64-bit pixel shader precision on the near future. Technically, 64-bit precision is better, but when it comes to visual image quality, there's little benefit in going beyond 32-bit, he suggested. ®

Related Stories

ATI is waiting for PCI Express to launch Athlon 64 chipsets
ATI commits to desktop, mobile Athlon 64 chipsets

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.