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Nvidia Corp., a leading supplier of discrete graphics processing units, had reportedly received the first working samples of its next-generation high-end chip code-named G80. It usually takes several months before the chip is ready to be produced in volume, but if everything goes as expected, the firm may be ready with its first DirectX 10-compatible chip by fall.

According to a news-story at The Inquirer web-site, Nvidia had received a working sample of the G80 processor back two weeks ago. The web-site claims that this means that Nvidia will be able to launch the new product as soon as in September, 2006, even though, two months is too short timeframe to fully test the chip and ramp up the production.

The first working sample of a chip carries A0 revision, while companies usually launch A2 revisions commercially. It usually takes several – up to 10 – weeks to build a new chip revision, which means that it is unlikely that the G80 would be production-ready by September.

Right now Nvidia does not need a really new product to be made as fast as possible, as currently the firm has the fastest single-card offering on the market – GeForce 7950 GX2, which offers higher-performance than ATI Technologies’ Radeon X1900 XTX. Nevertheless, the company hopes to outstrip ATI and offer the world’s first DirectX 10-compatible graphics chip. Currently, according to the report, Nvidia hopes to have “six-to-eight-week lead over ATI with its new chip”.

Specifications of the G80 chip are not clear. Some sources indicate that Nvidia’s first DirectX 10 chip will incorporate 48 pixel shader processors and an unknown number of vertex shader/geometry shader processors. The Inquirer, however, claims that the G80 has 32 pixel and 16 vertex and geometry shader processors.

Nvidia Corp. does not comment on unreleased products.

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