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ATI unwraps first 1GB graphics card

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ATI today unwrapped its latest pair of workstation-oriented graphics chips - including what it claims is the first ever board to support one gigabyte of graphics memory. The FireGL parts are also the first products of their class from ATI to support Shader Model 3.0.

The 1GB FireGL V7350 is accompanied by the V7300, a 512MB version. The GPUs are fabbed at 90nm and derive from ATI's Radeon X1000 series. As such they incorporate its Avivo image enhancement pipeline, including support for 40-bit and 64-bit RGB colour, and the latest Radeons' 512-bit ring memory bus architecture. Both boards provide 41.6GBps of memory bandwidth, ATI said, pointing to as memory clock speed of 325MHz (650MHz effective).

Like the previous-generation FireGL V7100, the two new chips have 16 pixel-shader processors, but they incorporate eight vertex engines to the V7100's six. The upshot is a vertex performance of 1.2bn vertices per second - the V7100 scores 750m vertices per second - and the ability to pump out 9.6bn pixels per second. The V7100 could manage only 8bn pixels in that time.

Both PCI Express boards have twin dual-link DVI ports, and if you put two compatible screens alongside each other you'd get an image more than 5,000 pixels wide, ATI said. Unlike past FireGL cards, the new parts have HD component-video output and support Genlock and Framelock for high-end digital video editing applications.

The V7350 costs around $1999, while the V7300 is priced in the region of $1599, ATI said. The boards are available now from a range of workstation vendors, VARs and distributors. ®

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