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Nvidia to pitch NV48 at ATI's R520

Battle royale in Q2 2005, apparently

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Nvidia will launch against ATI's next-generation high-end graphics chip, the R520, in Q2 2005.

So claim sources from among Taiwan's graphics card manufacturer community, cited by DigiTimes.

They also allege that the part, codenamed NV48, will be fabbed by TSMC at 110nm, and not by IBM. The sources claim the move is a result of yields the Taiwanese foundry has achieved with the GeForce 6200 and 6600 chips.

The shift from one manufacturing partner to another may account for the rumours that Nvidia had cancelled NV48. Certainly, the NV48 had been expected to appear late this year, according to Nvidia roadmaps doing the rounds back in July. However, back then, the NV48 and its PCI Express-native sibling, the NV48e, appeared little more than tweaked GeForce 6800 cores, so it's possible the Q2 2005 part is different, despite taking the NV48 name.

Whatever features NV48 offers, it is likely to go head-to-head with ATI's R520, not only its first DirectX 9 Shader Model 3.0 GPU but the first of its graphics chips to be fabbed at 90nm. It will probably be the first GPU to support GDDR 4, too, according to recent reports, which claim ATI has now completed the chip's design. ®

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