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A web-site has confirmed that volume shipments of ATI’s next-generation breed of visual processing units would begin in mid third quarter of the calendar year, which verifies ATI’s official claim that no revenue shipments of next-gen products would happen earlier than in August.

ATI Technologies’ Taiwanese subsidiary expects to begin volume shipments of its 90nm graphics processing units (GPUs), the R520, R530 and RV515, in the middle of the third quarter, DigiTimes web-site reports. According to the company, late time to market of the R5-series was conditioned by “unspecified issues for manufacturing on 90nm technology”.

ATI’s R520 and R530 visual processing units (VPUs) are expected to be positioned for the high-end market, whereas RV515 chip is likely to be aimed on the performance-mainstream market. Sometime in early 2006 ATI’s high-end lineup is likely to be refreshed with code-named R580 graphics processor, which is more powerful than ATI’s R520 GPU.

“In the case of the R520 we have seen some delay. Particularly, we need to deal with a new technology at the high-end. It’s a combination of both architectural and [process] technology bring up. We have this well under control now. As Patrick described, we’ve taken a cautious position to not to consider revenues in our Q4 for our 90nm line,” said David Orton, the CEO of ATI, during a recent conference-call.

ATI code-named R5-series of VPUs is projected to support Shader Model 3.0 and other innovations, which requires a totally new graphics architecture from ATI. Still, general specifications of ATI’s R520 as well as its derivative VPUs are unclear at this time.

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