New RADEON Chips to Reach Store Shelves This Month – ATI

RADEON X1800, X1600 and X1300 Chips Ready to Go, ATI Says

by Anton Shilov
09/20/2005 | 09:52 AM

ATI Technologies on Tuesday said that its highly-anticipated visual processing units (VPUs) produced using 90nm process technology at TSMC had been delivered for the company and are in full-scale mass production. The company also disclosed names for the new chips that will be available in weeks.


“TSMC is currently processing thousands of 300mm wafers for ATI, with many more already delivered. At this aggressive pace, ATI has already become one of our major 90nm customers,” said Jason Chen, vice president of corporate development for TSMC.

ATI’s highly-anticipated VPUs code-named R520, RV530 and RV515 will officially be called RADEON X1800, RADEON X1600 and RADEON X1300, respectively, which is inline with the company’s typical nomenclature.

While the company has not released any peculiarities of the forthcoming visual processing units, from the previous comments made by the firm’s executives and sources close to the company it is known that the new VPUs will have entirely new architecture that supports Shader Model 3.0, next-generation high definition H.264 video decoding, new memory controller and other improvements. A corner stone of the new graphics family by ATI is TSMC’s 90nm manufacturing process that allowed to clock the chips “around 50% higher than products manufactured on older processes” while increasing functionality and complexity of the processors.

“The ATI products produced with TSMC’s 90nm process show a tremendous clock speed improvement and power reduction versus earlier generation technologies,” Mr. Chen added.

The new product family based on the latest graphics processors is likely to boost ATI’s revenues and profits in the ongoing quarter after several times the Markham, Ontario-based graphics chip designer missed its original revenue estimates. Still, it is likely to take some time for ATI’s new products to become popular among consumers.

ATI expects the latest cards to begin arriving on store shelves by the end of September, which means that the formal launch of the products with immediate availability of the novelties may be scheduled for early October.