by Anton Shilov
01/21/2010 | 11:33 PM
Chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices said during a conference call with financial analysts that the company’s graphics division ATI was on-track to refresh its lineup of graphics cards in the second half of calendar 2010. The mystery, though, is with what the family of graphics processors will be renewed.
“We are ramping the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series now and look forward to refreshing the entire lineup in the second half of next year*,” said Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer of AMD, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
A little earlier this month AMD’s worldwide developer relations manager said that ATI hopes to maintain leadership position in terms of product performance “for the majority of 2010”. Still, it is not completely clear with what does AMD plan to refresh ATI’s lineup going forward.
The company has two ways of getting even faster products to market: it can redesign existing ATI Radeon HD 5000-series graphics chips so that to boost clock-speeds tangibly or it can introduce a brand new family of ninth-generation Radeon chips code-named Northern Islands, which is widely believed to feature a new architecture.
Not a lot is known about Northern Islands. Some sources claim that the new chips will be made using 32nm fabrication process, but the others believe that the new chips will be made on 28nm node. There are also reports that Northern Islands will have richer feature-set compared to Evergreen. According to some other reports, ATI’s next-generation family is code-named Hecatonchires and will feature code-named Cozumel, Ibiza and Kauai chips, which are not northern, but southern islands. As a result, it is possible that ATI may be working on two new architectures.
Earlier this week TSMC said that it would start mass production of chips using 28nm process technology in Q4 2010.
* Considering the fact that the call was dedicated to AMD’s financial results in the Q4 of fiscal 2009, the AMD executive referred to the second half of fiscal 2010 as to the “next year”, which is basically the second half of calendar 2010.