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ATI R520 to ship 'mid-Q3'

90nm teething troubles

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ATI's upcoming next-generation graphics chip, codenamed the R520, may yet be launched later this month, but it won't ship until mid way through the quarter.

The R520 has recently been the subject of speculation that ATI had delayed the part's introduction. Today, ATI's Taiwanese operation confirmed the 90nm chip would ship "mid-Q3", according to a DigiTimes report.

The company also said the R530 and RV515 chips would become available in the same timeframe, and that a further member of the family, the R580, would be introduced early in 2006.

ATI hinted at problems with the 90nm process used to fabricate the chips, but it's not clear to what extent these issues were unexpected or if their resolution in the near future was always part of ATI's R520 timetable. The R520 and co. will be fabbed by TSMC.

The company's comment lends weight to earlier claims that ATI was working hard to resolve heat problems with the new GPU. The shift to 90nm has been a hard one for many chip makers, from Intel to IBM. Current-leakage problems have swamped the gain in energy efficiency usually encountered when moving to a smaller transistor size. ®

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