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ATI Technologies chief executive office Dave Orton recently made some additional claims about the forthcoming graphics series code-named R500. As it appears, the company has run into multiple issues with its chips called R520 and RV530 that run at high speeds, but did not experience any problems with the RV515 and Xenos chip for Xbox 360 console that run at moderate frequencies.

“To be honest, we’ve had our share of challenges with the R520 and RV530 chips. Even though all the simulations that were done with the chips were looking good, there were still issues with the silicon when it came back from the fab,” said Dave Orton, ATI’s chief executive officer, in an interview with Muropaketti web-site.

ATI’s code-named R520 chip is to be targeted at enthusiasts and is expected to offer performance that significantly exceeds the level provided by ATI’s current RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition products. It is anticipated that the R520 will operate in the range of 600MHz-700MHz, which is much higher compared to today’s clock-speeds in the range of 500MHz. The chip known as RV530 is projected to serve performance-mainstream market and to be clocked at about 600MHz.

“The [R520] graphics chip runs extremely fast, and although we’re still finalizing clocks, I can tell you that we’re hitting stock engine speeds never seen before in this industry,” Mr. Orton said.

“Xbox 360-game console’s Xenos-graphics chipset was developed on 90nm with tremendous success, so we felt confident using it for the R5xx family. RV515, which will be aimed at the entry-level PC segment, also worked perfectly from the outset without encountering any manufacturing issues,” ATI’s chief indicated.

Even though the Xenos chip for Xbox and RV515 visual processing unit (VPU) for desktops are completely different from architectural standpoint – Xenos features 48 dynamically allocated Arithmetic Logic Units (ALUs) that can be used for both pixel and vertex operations, whereas the RV515 uses traditional pixel and vertex processors – they both operate at 450MHz – 500MHz, core-clock typical for today’s VPUs that are produced using 130nm or 110nm process technologies at TSMC.

ATI code-named R5-series of VPUs is projected to support Shader Model 3.0 and other innovations, which requires totally new graphics architecture from ATI. Among other improvements the flagship R520 product is expected to have over predecessors the head of ATI noted a brand-new memory controller.

ATI’s new breed of graphics processors – with yet-to-be-revealed brand-name – is expected to be formally introduced in late September or early October, 2005. Even though ATI has lost certain OEM contracts to NVIDIA Corp. and its GeForce 7800-series, the Markham, Ontario-based graphics company expects its new-gen products to be selling well in the retail and channel markets.


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