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Some preliminary details about ATI’s next-generations graphics processors have been published at The Inquirer web-site. The biggest news is that the forthcoming chip will support Shader Model 3.0 in spite of ATI’s pretty sceptic attitude towards the standard initially.

ATI Technologies’ upcoming visual processing unit does not only have its code-number R520 (not R500, as initially thought), but also has its code-name, the web-site claims. Apparently, the chip is called Fudo, probably after the Japanese god of fire and wisdom, as Babynamenetwork web-site describes the name. ATI’s current-generation graphics chips – the RADEON X800 – were initially named Loki after a god in Norse mythology.

The R520 is reported to emerge in Q1 or Q2 2005 and feature brand-new architecture that sports Shader Model 3.0 or even higher level of programmability. Before the R520 makes it to the market ATI is expected to release a speed-bump of the current architecture – a chip called R480.

There is no information about the number of pixel and vertex pipelines and the number of transistors inside the R520 visual processing unit.

ATI Technologies did not comment on the news-story.

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