IN THE HIGH PERFORMANCE graphics industry, performance must be combined with quality. It is this neverending race which will lead to initial availability of Nvidias new Geforce FX cards this month. However, we have learned that ATIs next generation R350 chip which will compete with the Geforce FX is now in mass production, and will definitely be in retail stores in April. It will be officially announced at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany on March 12, 2003.
Specifications of the new chip are being kept under extremely tight scrutiny because of the tight competition between the two rivals. It would give too much lead-time to overclock one chip just to paper launch a product and claim the performance lead.
Many facts are already known. The R300 will be built on a 150 nanometer process. It is basically an overclocked R300 with eight rendering pipelines and two texture units per pipeline. Graphics cards powered by the R350 VPU will be equipped with DDR-II memory with 256-bit bus.
Be aware that there are numerous enhancements to its design and manufacturing process, which will increase performance and yields thus lowering the price of the chip. If yields of the R300 are any indication, ATI could have yields in excess of 90% using TSMCs proven copper process, although without a low k dielectric.
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News source: The inq.