ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices, has formally announced the new breed of graphics processing units (GPUs) designed for mobile computers. The graphics chip developer hopes that the new Mobility Radeon HD 4000-series chips for laptops will replicate the success of the ATI Radeon HD 4000 family on the desktop add-in-card market.
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 family consists of seven solutions, targeting enthusiast-class, thin high-performance laptops as well as thin-and-light systems. There are three chips in the family at the moment: Mobility Radeon HD 4800, Mobility Radeon HD 4600 and Mobility Radeon HD 4500/4300, which have similar functionality compared to their desktop brethren, e.g., they support DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 feature-sets, hardware-accelerated high-definition video playback and so on.
But while the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000-series processors are similar compared to desktop chips, they support an array of aggressive methods aimed at reduction of power consumption, including advanced clock gating, ATI PowerPlay dynamic power management technology as well as PowerExpress technology that reduces the amount of operating PCI Express lanes. The GPUs are made using TSMC's 55nm process technology.
Just like in case of desktop processors, ATI promotes multi-GPU CrossFireX technology to enable extreme performance graphics solutions. The company recommends notebook makers to install two ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 MXM modules into ultra high-end notebooks aimed at gamers. This will automatically increase physical size of such portable computers.
“We’re proud to highlight ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 as the first notebook GPU to support specially designed, ultra-high bandwidth GDDR5 graphics memory to unleash the full-throttle gaming experience normally reserved for the high-end desktop gaming rigs. Now, notebooks equipped with one or a pair of these speedy graphics processors can take on just about any PC game and run them smoothly at their maximum option settings,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s graphics products group.
One of the most interesting products in the new lineup is the Mobility Radeon HD 4600-series, which delivers relatively high-performance amid small chip size, 128-bit memory bus and relatively low price.
“For gaming-friendly multimedia notebooks, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4600 is the most potent power-efficient notebook GPU we've ever produced, making high-performance gaming practical in lightweight, elegantly styled notebooks like never before,” Mr. Bergman said.
The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series graphics processors have been designed into notebooks from many leading notebook manufacturers with models planned for availability beginning in Q1 2009, according to AMD.
The first laptops featuring ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000-series chips will come from Asustek Computer (Mobility Radeon HD 4650 in ASUS N51Tp and N81Vp; and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics in the F81Se) and MicroStar International (Mobility Radeon HD 4600 in MSI EX625 notebook, and Mobility Radeon HD 4800 in GT725 notebook).