A report over The Inquirer claims that ATI’s upcoming graphics processor code-named R420 will sport all possible memory types that are on the market, or a likely to be available in 2003. The unconfirmed information may seem pretty probable, as ATI is known for its abilities in creating universal designs to grant more flexibility to final products.
The article says the R420 can handle DDR, GDDR2 and GDDR3 memory types. The GDDR2 is likely to become the default option for R420-based graphics cards, as it brings a significant speed improvement over conventional DDR, but is now cost-effective enough even for performance mainstream graphics cards, such as NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, not talking about high-end offerings, such as R420. GDDR3 support is added with some future or “extreme speed” products in mind; in contrast, DDR support means that either R420 or its cut-down versions will be intended for lower-cost graphics cards.
ATI Technologies is known for its re-use of technologies in variety of its products and very flexible silicon solutions. Flexible memory controller found in the R420 may be incorporated into future VPUs with higher or lower cost ensuring that all R&D efforts are utilized wisely enough.
In early July 2003 there were rumors about a code-named RV420 chip coming a bit after the R420. Traditionally, “RV” versions are VPUs with a bit lower performance, but the same general feature-set as “R” VPUs. In case the information about RV420 release shortly after R420 launch is correct, this is where we are likely to see DDR memory.
ATI’s officials do not comment on unreleased products.