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ATI Technologies is expected to release its new generation of graphics processor in late September or early October, according to various reports from financial analysts that emerged recently. The graphics company is likely to launch a number of visual processing units – not only top-end product – it is claimed, while ATI’s chief Dave Orton appears to be optimistic about the success of the product family.

“We are also confident that our upcoming desktop product launch will allow us to reclaim top-to-bottom technology leadership in discrete graphics,” said Dave Orton in a statement that warned about lower-than-expected financial results for the company in the quarter that ends on the 31st of August, 2005.

According to an analyst report published at Rage3D web-site, ATI stated that its plan was to launch all three 90nm new generation desktop discrete chips, including enthusiast-oriented R520, performance-mainstream RV530 and the value RV515, in late September. Some other sources has indicated that the chips would be officially announced in early October, however, late September date may indicate the beginning of revenue shipments of some products, whereas formal announcement may be set for October.

“The shipment dates will likely be staggered for the three chips, based on the delivery cycles from TSMC, with one likely shipping at launch date and the other two within the first half of October,” the report claims.

The company said during one of the recent conference calls that it did not expect to ship its new generation product family for revenue before August, 2005. Nevertheless, the chips were production ready by the 25th of July, 2005, when the PCI-SIG Integrators List was last updated, graphics cards makers might have received final visual processing units sometime in late August or early September.

The report informs that the code-named R520 had been sampling since December, 2004, and “although the architecture and 90nm process were not a problem, ATI was not able to run the clock fast enough due to a ‘soft ground’ issue that was discovered in late July after debugging with several re-spins”. It is reported that the R520 and RV530 had functional yields, but could not run at high speeds, while the RV515 and the C1 (the 90nm Xbox graphics chip) did not have any issues. It is reported that the R520 was originally planned for a June launch, while the RV530 and RV515 launch times were only a few weeks delayed from their original schedule.

ATI reportedly conceded it had lost the OEM designs, primarily Dell to NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GTX for enthusiast desktop PCs for both the back-to-school and holiday season, but expressed believes that the retail and channel (add-in-board) markets, which are claimed to represent over 66% of the enthusiast market, for the R520 chip remained available.

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.

ATI did not comment on the news-story.

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