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ATI wins approval for RS690 launch

October introduction for HDMI-, HDCP-friendly chipset?

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ATI's AMD-oriented integrated North Bridge chip, the RS690, has won the approval of the PCI SIG, which this week certified the part for PCI Express compatibility, paving the way for the part's appearance on the chipset market.

The RS690 is believed to contain a Radeon X700-class graphics core which will provide it with DirectX 9 Shader Model 2.0 support. That said, the North Bridge is also expected to play host to 16 PCI Express lanes to all a graphics card to be added to PCs based on the part.

The chipset will also support the HDCP copy-protection system and signalling to allow motherboard makers to equip products with an HDMI port.

It's thought AMD will offer two RS690 variants: one which grabs a chunk of main memory for its video buffer and another which has its own, directly connected video memory, the better to alleviate the latency inherent in address main memory through the host CPU's integrated memory controller.

The RS690 is expected to be pin-compatible with the older RS485 - aka the Radeon Xpress 1100. The new chipset was last seen roadmapped to appear in Q3, while various reports pointed to a release early in the quarter. It's now looking like ATI has scheduled an October introduction - a month that should also see the debut of the 80nm Radeon X1950 Pro and X1650 XT. ®

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