ATI Preps New Dual-Chip Flagship Graphics Card - Rumours

ATI's Next-Gen Chip May Support Ultra-High Definition Media Playback

by Anton Shilov
08/21/2010 | 11:00 AM

ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, will launch a new dual-chip graphics card by the end of the year, according to a rumour published by a China-language web-site. The card will replace the current top-of-the-line ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics accelerator.


The forthcoming flagship graphics board will be powered by two chips featuring the yet unannounced Southern Islands architecture. The information indirectly implies that power consumption of the future graphics processing units (GPUs) will not be too high and will allow AMD's ATI unit to put two of such chips onto a single card without exceeding standard 300W power envelope, which is crucial for meeting requirements of large system builders. As reported previously, ATI Radeon HD 6000-series graphics boards will become available in late October or early November, 2010.

Not a lot is known about the Southern Islands family of products. The SI family will offer higher performance compared to currently available ATI Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” line, but will hardly be considerably more advanced in terms of feature-set. It is rumoured that designers of the new GPUs concentrated mostly on improving efficiency, but not on building something completely new from scratch, which is why certain building blocks of the new Sothern Islands family will be inherited from the current Evergreen line.

According to the report from Cnbeta web-site, ATI "Southern Islands" will also feature an improved version of ATI Eyefinity technology as well as a more advanced Universal Video Decoder (UVD). The improvements will allow the new chip(s) to playback video in ultra high definition (UHD) resolutions. Unfortunately, at present there are no commercial UHD movies, hence, a more important feature of future GPUs will be ability to upconvert full-HD Blu-ray movies to higher resolutions.

ATI/AMD did not comment on the news-story.