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ATI IGP line to step over Shader Model 3.0

RS700 geared for DirectX 10, apparently

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ATI's first DirectX 10-supporting integrated chipset will debut next year and be fabbed at 65nm, according to roadmap details leaked onto the web this week. The upshot: ATI is jumping straight from Shader Model 2.0 to Shader Model 4.0.

The chipset, codenamed 'RS700', may ship under ATI's CrossFire Xpress 3200 brand, if a presentation slide posted by Chinese-language website HKEPC is to be believed.

DirectX 10 will introduce Shader Model 4.0, a big step up from Shader Model 2.0, which is what the upcoming RS600's Radeon X700-based integrated graphics engine is limited to. The site suggests this means ATI will not offer a Shader Model 3.0-supporting integrated chipset. The RS700's DirectX 10 support will centre on a unified shader architecture, the slide indicates.

In addition to DirectX 10, RS700 will support ATI's Avivo image-enhancement pipeline, which will be handy for the part's ability to work with both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD media, suggesting it will be fully capable of handling the HDCP and AACS copy-protection systems. Indeed, separate reports suggest HDCP support will be integrated into the graphics core, freeing motherboard makers from the need to add a separate encryption chip.

The ATI slide points to 65nm fabrication and a "new low-power design" with the company's PowerPlay technology for better battery life - a sign that ATI will be making a push into the mobile market with the part? ATI is expected to transition to 65nm in 2007. ®

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