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Crytek: new ATI chip will support Shader 3.0

R520 not far off?

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Far Cry developer Crytek has tacitly confirmed ATI's Shader Model 3.0-supporting graphics chips are not far off.

The comment comes in a patch Crytek posted last week to update the 64-bit version of its popular game, targeted at AMD and Intel processors.

According to the release notes, Far Cry 1.32 fixes "a Shader Model 3.0 issue that caused graphics corruption on new ATI hardware", Xbit Labs reports.

ATI doesn't have Shader Model 3.0 hardware on the market, of course. However, its upcoming R520 part is believed to add support for the DirectX 9 technology. It has been claimed the chip will be announced early next month, possibly at Computex in Taipei.

If the pre-release speculation is correct, it appears that Crytek and other games developers have their hands on the chip, and are already tweaking code to allows for the part's idiosyncrasies. You'd expect software writers to have access to new ATI technology ahead of the hardware's public availability, but the timing of Crytek's comment suggests the part is nearing its release schedule.

ATI is also believed to be preparing RV530 and RV515 versions of the R520. The R520 itself is expected to support ATI's answer to Nvidia's SLi multi-card co-operative rendering system, and has been claimed to support up to 32 parallel pixel processing pipelines, though not all of them may be enabled at launch. The chip is said to support GDDR 3 memory clocked to 1.8GHz effective. The core has been reported to run at 700MHz. ®

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