ATI Technologies’ code-named R520 visual processing unit has similar die size as the company’s current-generation R480 graphics processor that is used on the RADEON X850 XT graphics cards, it was revealed by a web-site, which has published a picture of the yet-to-be-announced processor.
HKEPC web-site has posted a photo of ATI’s R520 visual processing unit (VPU), but not the graphics card on its base. Judging on brief estimations, the new chip has similar, or even a bit lower, die size compared to the R480 VPU, which has area of about 2.88 square centimeters. This is much lower when compared to the size of G70 (GeForce 7800 GTX) graphics processing unit from NVIDIA.
Relatively small size of die may mean that the developer receives higher amount of chips per single wafer, which means that the processor is cheaper to manufacture. However, the number of working chips per silicon wafer, or yield rate, is unknown.
The fact that the picture has been posted online means that ATI’s R520 does exist in silicon. It is unknown, however, whether it is in the state that it can actually be launched commercially.
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 are unclear at this time. It is expected that the R520 will be positioned as a high-end graphics product.