R600 is fabbed on 80nm, AGP parts coming

Written by Tim Smalley

April 3, 2007 | 10:51

Tags: #80nm #agp #interview #manufacturing #production #products #r600 #radeon

Companies: #amd #ati #cebit #tsmc

Vijay Sharma, AMD's Director of Marketing for Discrete Desktop Graphics Products, has squashed rumours of R600 being switched over to a 65-nanometre process in an interview at this year's CeBIT trade show.

At some point during the show, rumours emerged suggesting that AMD had switched its upcoming high-end graphics chip from 80nm to 65nm because it was leaking current pretty badly.

Sharma first indirectly confirmed that R600 would be manufactured on 80nm when discussing the advantages of 80nm over 90nm. "Yeah, I think the big advantage that 80 gives you over 90 from a process perspective is transistor density. You just get more and the chip will cost less for a given transistor count than it would at 90."

He then went onto confirm it pretty much outright a little later in the interview: "Oh the R600 wasn't the first 80nm part we've done." This has pretty much invalidated the first part of the 65nm rumour, but Sharma wasn't finished there.

"From a process perspective we have not had 80nm process issues on the R600." Together, the two quotes almost completely dismiss the rumour that the chip was badly leaking current and that it was cancelled in favour of a 65nm version.

What it does mean though, is that AMD probably has a 65nm version of R600 up its sleeve for a later date. If and when the 65nm part is introduced will depend on how much headroom there is left in R600 after the chip is clocked high enough to knock GeForce 8800 GTX off its perch. Of course, it's also dependent on what Nvidia has up its sleeve too, as GeForce 8800 GTX has been the undisputed performance leader for almost six months now.

The other interesting tidbit that Sharma revealed was that AMD's bridge chip will work with the R600 family of graphics processors. He said that AMD will not design the PCBs for the AGP variants, and that it is up to partners to design AGP-based R6xx products. That is the same as the current situation, so we're confident that you'll see AGP-based R600 family products appearing some time after its official announcement.

Are you looking forward to seeing how fast R600 is, or are you looking for a makeover for your aging AGP system? Let us know in the forums.
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