by Anton Shilov
06/18/2009 | 04:05 PM
ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, admitted that its latest graphics processing unit – ATI Radeon HD 4770 also known as RV740– is not supplied in proper quantities and that causes shortages on the market. The company blamed insufficient manufacturing yield rate of 40nm process technology of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
“With TSMC's current 40nm yields, AMD was able to deliver a significant quantity of high-quality 40nm GPUs to ensure a worldwide hard launch, with every region receiving a supply of ATI Radeon HD 4770 cards. Although initial demand was met, AMD couldn't foresee the tremendous enthusiasm from the marketplace for the ATI Radeon HD 4770, and is currently working closely with TSMC on supply,” said Antal Tungler, AMD's European technical PR manager, in an interview with Hexus web-site.
According to numerous media reports, yield rate of chips made using 40nm fabrication process is very low, which is why it is physically hard to deliver sufficient amount of chips. Moreover, as yield (the number of working chips on a single wafer) gets lower, it becomes less profitable to manufacture chips, as a result, at some point developers of chips may reduce orders to actual manufacturer and either find flaws in their design or demand contract maker to fix the issues of the process technology itself.
In order to fulfill the demand towards high-performance graphics cards that cost below $100, ATI lowers the price of its Radeon HD 4850 and quietly introduces Radeon HD 4730: both graphics boards are based on ATI RV740 chip made using 55nm process technology, but deliver performance comparable to the Radeon HD 4770.
“We are working with our AIB partners to deliver a compelling solution in the same price band that will ensure supply long term. Even today, many users are opting instead to purchase a higher performance ATI Radeon HD 4850 card, which is available at e-tailers worldwide starting around $100 or €99 including value added tax,” added Mr. Tungler.
ATI Radeon HD 4770, which is powered by ATI RV740 graphics processing unit, features 640 stream processors, 32 texture units, 16 render back ends and 128-bit GDDR3/GDDR4/GDDR5 memory controller. ATI recommends its partners among graphics cards makers to clock the chip at 750MHz and install 512MB of GDDR5 memory at 3200MHz.