An ATI Technologies’ partner demonstrated a rather mysterious ATI Viper processor at Computex Taipei 2003 trade-show. The chip with both ATI’s and Micron’s logotypes on its surface was branded as “ATI Viper” and had a special heat-spreader resembling that of Intel Pentium 4 CPUs.
The Inquirer web-site claims that this is the well-known code-named ATI R420 Visual Processing Unit coming out next year. Some sources confirmed the claim, even though the project name for R420/R400 was “Loki”, not “Viper”. The chip is installed on a graphics card for PCI Express x16 slot and currently you see no cooler on the graphics card.
Other unofficial sources said that a powerful graphics processor from ATI was taped out very recently.
It is rumored that graphics cards powered by ATI R420 “Viper” graphics processors will utilize GDDR3 memory from Micron at speeds of up to 1600MHz. This may be a reason why Micron’s logotype is on ATI’s upcoming VPU.
Do not forget to see some more pictures of future VPUs over here.