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Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday formally unveiled its 690-series core-logic sets which combine modern graphics engine with support for several display outputs, high-bandwidth digital copyright protection (HDCP) technology and high definition multimedia interface (HDMI), which allows to build low-cost multimedia- and office-oriented machines. The chipset is a direct result of AMD and ATI merge.

“As a result of the ATI merger, AMD is delivering innovative platforms for the commercial and consumer markets featuring best of breed performance, visual computing experience, energy efficiency and stability,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and chief operating officer.

The new AMD 690 core-logic (earlier code-named as ATI RS690G) family combines AMD 690 north bridge with SB600 input/output controller. Currently AMD offers two versions of the core-logic: the 690G and the 690V, with the latter aimed at very low-cost and mobile systems. The AMD 690G features integrated DVI/HDMI output, while the 690V lacks this capability. AMD promises that both core-logic sets are low-power and can be used in both desktop and mobile systems.

The AMD 690 north bridge, which is compatible with a variety of AMD processors that use HyperTransport bus, features built-in Radeon X1250 graphics core (Radeon X700 graphics engine with 4 pixel processors, 400MHz clock-speed, DirectX 10 shader model 2.0 support with 3Dc technology) with 64-bit memory controller for a local frame-buffer; two independent display controllers allowing to plug-in a DVI/HDMI device, a TV and a D-Sub device (e.g., CRT monitor); as well as a PCI Express x4 controller.

The SB600 south bridge, which has been available on the market for nearly a year from now, supports four Serial ATA-300 ports with RAID capability, Parallel ATA, ten USB 2.0 ports, PCI interface, high definition 7.1 “Azalia” audio, and so on.

Besides being aimed at mainstream computers, AMD positions the AMD 690-series core-logic sets for affordable multimedia oriented personal computers. Featuring HDMI and HDCP, a mainboard powered by the AMD 690G, coupled with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor and a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive, can enable playback of new-generation DVDs and provide relatively high image quality for conventional DVDs. Customers have to keep in mind though that HDCP-protected content will playback only in 720p resolution, whereas the content without copy protection technology will be available in full HD, 1080p, resolution.

The AMD 690 series chipset will be widely available from the company’s mainboard partners, including Albatron Technology, Asustek Computer, Biostar, Elitegroup Computer Ssystems, Epox Computer Company, Foxconn Technology Group, Gigabyte United, Jetway Info, MicroStar International (MSI), PCPartner and Sapphire. In addition, numerous system integrators are on board, including Atelco, Bas Group, Formoza, Multimedis, Onda, PC Box, Seethru, Systemax, Unika, Unika Multimedia and ZT Group.

“With the launch of the AMD 690 series chipset, AMD is delivering on the commitment we made to our customers, channel partners and end users to bring to them customer-centric innovation. Our largest global customers are already committed to offering AMD 690 series-based solutions, and more than 30 motherboard designs will be available,” Mr. Meyer said.


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