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Media reports from Taiwanese press suggest that Nvidia Corp. may release its next-generation flagship offering code-named G80 as early as in later in 2006. The information about possible release timeframe of the product which is likely to be named GeForce 8800 coincides with earlier rumours, however, the demand for the part may be limited due to the lack of DirectX 10.

A news-story at DigiTimes web-site claims that Nvidia may announce its code-named G80 processor, which official name is likely to be GeForce 8800, in mid-November to solidify its positions in the market of high-end computer graphics boards. The report cites makers of graphics cards as sources of the information, however, without bringing any details concerning the G80 technology or products on its base.

While not a lot of details are available concerning the GeForce 8800, it is known that the part is compatible with Microsoft’s next-generation DirectX 10 application programming interface (API), which will only be available with Windows Vista operating system. Nevertheless, provided that Nvidia launches mature drivers for the new graphics processing unit (GPU), the code-named G80 should deliver performance increases in modern games that use DirectX 9.0 API.

Last week pictures of the alleged GeForce 8800 emerged on the web. If the photos display what they claim to show, then the GeForce 8800 graphics card is about the size of the GeForce 7900 GX2, at least, it seems to be longer than the GeForce 7900 GTX, which means that it may not be possible to install it into smaller computer cases. The pictures also showcase that the new GeForce 8800 has 12 memory chips and a liquid-cooling option.

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. Other, however, claims that the G80 has 32 pixel and 16 vertex and geometry shader processors. Yet another source has indicated that the G80 will have unified shader architecture and will consist of 700 million transistors.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

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