According to a report on Digitimes
today, a number of Taiwanese video card manufacturers close to ATI have indicated that there will be several new GPUs launched by the Canadian graphics giant in the first quarter of 2006.
We have known for some time that ATI are in the final stages of testing its upcoming R580 graphics processing unit, but the report states that ATI are expecting to release its next flagship chip in the next few months.
We believe that R580 will be an expansion of R520, based on the same 90 nanometre fabrication process, but with significantly more shader power and higher clock speeds. We are expecting to see 48 internal shader processors
attached to the Ultra Threaded Dispatch Processor, giving huge performance increases in certain circumstances.
In some extreme circumstances we could see as much as three times the performance of R520. However, we understand that the pixel output engine arrangement will not change, in the same way that there will be no increase in texture units.
There is also a couple of other GPUs coming along that are set to enhance the Radeon X1000-series entry-level and mainstream lineups, too. The new RV560, RV535 and RV505 chips will be manufactured on an 80 nanometre production node at TSMC. There is no more information on these GPUs at the time of publication, but we are expecting RV560 to fill the void in ATI's product lineup between $249 and $449.
Some may feel that the suggested launch of ATI's refresh products is too soon after launch of the first incarnation of Radeon X1000-series. But you have to remember that R520 in particular, suffered soft grounding issues, which delayed the launch by nearly four months.
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