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ATI tapes out 90nm R5xx chip

Shader Model 3.0 supported

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ATI has completed its design for the upcoming R5xx series of graphics chips. The chips will be the company's first to support Shader Model 3.0, and may be the company's first 90nm parts.

So claims a Goldman Sachs report cited by Beyond3D, issued after last week's analyst meeting at which ATI apparently confirmed the chip family will be released in H1 2005.

The design has now taped out and been sent to ATI's fabrication partner, TSMC, for an initial production run using the fab's 90nm process, according to information received by Goldman Sachs separately. The tape-out has subsequently been confirmed by ATI sources cited by Xbit Labs. The ATI mole also confirmed the decision to use TSMC's 90nm process, though company CEO Dave Orton has publicly indicated that that was the chip maker's goal.

The new core will be compatible with G-DDR 4, which ATI is said to expect to appear during the latter part of the year, and support memory clocks of up to 2.4GHz (doubled up from 1.2GHz). ATI was believed to be submitting the technology to JEDEC, the memory standards body, this quarter.

The part is also likely to support HyperMemory, ATI's 're-invention' of a key element of the original AGP bus specification which allowed the graphics chip to use main memory as well as on-card video RAM. ®

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