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As we get closer and closer to the release of the new-generation graphics architectures from two leading designers of graphics processors, details about their release dates as well as brand-names are being heavily discussed by the community of hardware enthusiasts.

AnandTech web-site released what they think to be the names and the release dates of the highly anticipated NVIDIA NV40 and ATI R420/R423 graphics processors. 

NVIDIA’s code-named NV40 will be branded as the GeForce 6800, will be formally announced on the 13th of April and will reach retail stores by the 26th of April, according to the article. Earlier X-bit labs reported that NV40 will be mass-produced in May citing sources among NVIDIA’s graphics cards partners.

ATI Technologies’ chip known as R420 will be called RADEON X800 PRO and is likely to be launched on the 26th of April, 2004. Higher-speed flavour of the R420 – the RADEON X800 XT – is expected to debut on the 31st of May, 2004, if the assumptions are correct. PCI Express x16 solution powered by the R423 architecture will see the light of the day on the 14th of June, according to AnandTech. ATI on Tuesday began marketing campaign on its web-site to support the launch of the new graphics architecture.

According to previously released information, the ATI code-named R420/R423 graphics processors will contain about 160 million of transistors and will be produced using low-k 0.13 micron technology at TSMC. The chips are projected to utilize the current R300 architecture, but with general improvements in they way they compute and perform. The upcoming VPUs’ 8 or 12 rendering pipelines with unknown number of TMUs as well as 6 vertex shader engines along with new FSAA and anisotropic filtering patterns are said to be the key drivers of the speed upwards.

NVIDIA’s NV40 graphics processor is also expected to boast with substantially boosted speed in games and even support Pixel Shaders 3.0 along with Vertex Shaders 3.0 – something that ATI’s R420 is not likely to have inside.

Official representative for NVIDIA and ATI do not comment on unreleased products.

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