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ATI Technologies knows how to keep the information about its future products under wraps very well, but as the release date for the company’s next-generation graphics processor approaches, more information is uncovered by unofficial sources.

AnandTech web-site managed to dig some brief specifications of ATI Technologies’ graphics processor code-named R420 as well as its PCI Express brother internally called R423. According to the information published, brief-specifications of the part will be as follows:

  • Produced using low-k 0.13 micron technology at TSMC;
  • Employs 160 million of transistors;
  • Core-clock: about 500MHz;
  • DDR, GDDR2, GDDR3 memory controller;
  • 256MB of 256-bit GDDR3 memory clocked at about 1.0GHz;
  • 8 rendering pipelines with unknown number of TMUs;
  • 6 vertex shader engines;
  • Pixel and Vertex Shaders 3.0;
  • DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL support;
  • Improved FSAA patterns;
  • Improved anisotropic filtering patterns;
  • Overall improved architecture over R300;
  • AGP 8x for R420, PEG x16 for R423 interfaces;

The graphics processors will be mass produced in the second quarter of the year and is expected to be introduced sometimes around CeBIT 2004.

NVIDIA is projected to deliver its next-generation NV40 chip during the same timeframe. What we do know about the GPU is that it will have heavily improved pixel shader performance over its predecessor – the GeForce FX 5900 series. It is also possible to expect ATI to reconsider its R300 micro-architecture to boost performance, though, it is not clear how faster the actual R420 will be over the RADEON 9800 series and how well it will perform against competition.

Every graphics company has its “know-how” techs in every graphics chip it launches. Given that such little, but very important advantages are kept in secret so not to get leaked ahead of time, it looks like both ATI and NVIDIA will release detailed facts about the new graphics processing units during the launch in Spring.

ATI did not comment on the story.

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