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ATI R520 for Spring. better SM3.0 than NV40

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Radeon350, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Radeon350

    Radeon350 Guest

    key things to understand
    *ATI is about to bring a superior implementation of Shader Model 3.0 to
    the R520 architecture than Nvidia did with the NV40 GeForce 6800
    series. Although to be fair, I expect the Nv47 also due in the spring,
    to improve on NV40's SM3.0 implementation)
    *the *R500* which is supposedly actually a step beyond R520, should go
    somewhere beyond SM3.0 but not quite all the way to SM4.0 / WGF 2.0 /


    ATI's Next-Generation VPU on Track for Spring, Claims Research Firm
    Credit Suisse First Boston Does Not Think R520 and 90nm are a Big Risk

    by Anton Shilov
    12/07/2004 | 11:00 PM

    Research firm Credit Suisse First Boston claimed in a recently released
    report that ATI Technologies, the world's major supplier of visual
    processing units, is on track with introduction of its next-generation
    graphics processor in Spring, 2005, and said that the risks with major
    transition of process technology to 90nm are not tremendous.

    R520 Taped Out, Yields are Key Risk

    "ATI has completed test wafers on 90nm at TSMC and has hit its
    milestones to date for its next generation R520 product due out in
    Spring 2005," CSFB wrote.

    In early November a high-ranking source close to ATI Technologies
    confirmed that the chip known as the R520 had been taped out, which
    means that the completed design of the processor had been sent to an
    ATI's foundry partner.

    "Key risk ahead is achieving strong yields on 90nm, a point too early
    to call but potentially less risky since low-k and copper issues were
    resolved at 130nm. ATI noted that the next two years will see major
    architectural jumps (likely Pixel Shader 3.0 in 05 and DX10 for
    Longhorn in 06), raising the bar but requiring execution as well,"
    CFSB's analysts Randy Abrams and Michael Masdea believe.

    ATI's current generation high-end visual processing units, such as
    RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition, are made using 130nm low-k process
    technology. While it remains to be seen, whether this chip that
    contains more than 160 million of transistors is able to achieve strong
    yields with 540MHz - 550MHz clock-range, it may be assumed that 90nm
    design even with larger amount of transistors will offer clock-speeds
    in-line or higher than current high-end chips.

    Bridging Today and Tomorrow

    Not much is known about the architecture and capabilities of the
    code-named R520 product that was initially referred as the R500. What
    is clear now is that the new graphics chip will sport Shader Model 3.0
    - pixel shaders 3.0 and vertex shaders 3.0 - bringing additional
    programming capabilities to ATI's future graphics processors as well
    as some other innovations.

    ATI's R5xx architecture will not resemble that of the previous
    generation products and NVIDIA's GeForce 6 architecture known as
    NV4x, particularly ATI will implement efficient flow-control, a crucial
    feature for pixel shaders 3.0, that will not bring speed penalty it
    does on existing SM3.0 hardware, according to sources. The future of
    the graphics hardware lies in higher number of ALUs ops per texture
    ops, unified pixel and vertex shaders as well as some other
    requirements of Microsoft Windows Longhorn operating system, such as
    virtualisation and context switches. While ATI agrees on the long-term
    goals for its roadmap, it does not name feature-set of actual products
    and says all the architectural changes will be implemented gradually,
    not at once.

    Some sources claim that the R500 is a code-name of ATI's graphics
    processor that will be submitted for Microsoft's next Xbox console.
    The shader core of the R500 was reported to have 48 Arithmetic Logic
    Units (ALUs) that can execute 64 simultaneous threads on groups of 64
    vertices or pixels. ALUs are automatically and dynamically assigned to
    either pixel or vertex processing depending on load. The ALUs can each
    perform one vector and one scalar operation per clock cycle, for a
    total of 96 shader operations per clock cycle. Texture loads can be
    done in parallel to ALU operations. At peak performance, the GPU can
    issue 48 billion shader operations per second, it was said.

    The R520 is also expected to feature advanced memory interface,
    presumably supporting GDDR4 memory.
    Radeon350, Dec 9, 2004
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