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Thread: ATI news




  1. #1
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    MSI to join ATI graphics partner list
    The domino effect


    It was simply a matter of time before MSI announced an official partnership with ATI.
    MSI was better known as a tier one Nvidia partner that drives most of the graphics business, but since market significantly changed in last few months MSI just could not stick just with Nvidia.

    With Gigabyte and Asus doing both Nvidia and ATI, MSI simply could not resist the temptation to join its big brothers.

    Even though it makes things harder for the big GPU guys, that's competition.

    MSI will announce this partnership in the middle of January 2004 and is certainly a most significant defector.

    Gainward and XFX will remain Nvidia loyalists for the time being, but it's not going to be easy for them as the marketplace re-aligns.

    The Inquirer

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    Deal between MSI, ATI falls through at last moment
    CEOs embrace... decide they are bigger than the disties


    Sources close to MSI tell The Inquirer it was – as Fuad Abazovic revealed earlier this week – about to play the old let's produce ATI cards as well as Nvidia cards game.
    But frantic negotiations between both Taiwanese CEOs have saved the MSI bacon at the last moment, we understand, and the deal set to start in mid-January is no more.

    As far as we understand, no financial incentive is involved.

    The CEOs of MSI and Nvidia delicately talked to each other and the distributors waited for bated breath for the decision.

    Still, the fact it got so far is quite interesting, we think.

    Is there much money in graphics processors any more, now Intel's GFX3 will be on the cards in May?

    No doubt ATI's CEO is spitting blood as we write...

    The Inquirer

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    Ex-ATI exec's frozen account seen holding C$1 mln

    TORONTO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - A frozen offshore account held by former ATI Technologies Inc. director of investor relations Jo-Anne Chang contains more than C$1 million, regulators said on Tuesday.
    Canada's leading securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, froze the account on Monday, alleging that the money was made through insider trading.

    "We believe that the proceeds of the transactions would have been a gross profit of C$1.26 million ($955,000) ...so we believe that is the amount that would be there," said OSC spokesman Eric Pelletier.

    "But of course the money has been in the account since May 2000, so there may be also some interest that accumulated," he added.

    The OSC said on Monday that it had directed two financial institutions to freeze the account, which is held in the name of Sovereign Ltd. The OSC alleges that Chang and her husband, David Stone, transferred "illegally obtained funds" to the Sovereign account.

    The account is frozen until a hearing scheduled for Feb. 10.

    The account freeze is part of a year-long investigation into allegations of insider trading at ATI, which makes graphics chips for computers, mobile phones and computer games.

    Starting on Feb. 19 the OSC will begin an insider-trading hearing involving six ATI insiders, including Chang, Stone and company founder and chief executive K.Y. Ho.

    The OSC says the group reaped more than C$7.9 million of profits, or avoided losses, by selling ATI stock ahead of a May 24, 2000, profit warning that knocked 53 percent off the share price over two days.

    Ho and his wife Betty are accused of avoiding a total loss of C$6.9 million by selling shares before the lower outlook was released, and by donating shares to a charity before the news, thereby maximizing a tax benefit.

    Reuters

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    Nvidia and ATI produce new chipsets with 0.11-micron process at TSMC

    Both Nvidia and ATI Technologies plan to produce new chipsets this year processed on 0.11-micron technology at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), according to the companies’ top executives.

    According to Nvidia president and CEO Huang Jen-hsun, the company will produce its next-generation high-end chipsets using a 0.11-micron process.

    ATI chairman and CEO Ho Kwok-yuen has also said that his company will adopt a 0.11-micron process for all its new mid-range to high-end chipsets this year. ATI is making all of its 0.11-micron products at TSMC, but some desktop-use graphics chips and consumer market-use ICs are produced at United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), he said.

    The CEOs declined to identify the new chipsets that will be produced at TSMC.

    DigiTimes

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    ATI expands ALL-IN-WONDER lineup
    Multimedia graphics cards now more affordable


    ATI Technologies expanded its lineup of ALL-IN-WONDER graphics cards featuring advanced TV, radio and video capturing capabilities with new products powered by RADEON 9200, RADEON 9600 and RADEON 9600 XT offerings.

    Available at different price-points, the novelties will complement existing ALL-IN-WONDER product family from ATI Technologies and its Add-in-Board partners. With the new introductions ATI is likely to be in a very competitive position against its main rival NVIDIA Corporation, who offers its Personal Cinema products based on GeForce4 and GeForce FX technologies via its AIB partners, but cannot provide so broad range of SKUs.

    The list of newcomers from ATI includes the following:

    ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 XT graphics card – based on RADEON 9600 XT VPU clocked at 525MHz and equipped with 128MB of memory working at 650MHz, this product features stereo TV tuner, FM tuner, dual D-Sub monitors and REMOTE WONDER II control. MSRP: $299.
    ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 is available for $199, is based on RADEON 9600 and 128MB DDR SDRAM. The card features stereo TV tuner and REMOTE WONDER control.
    ALL-IN-WONDER 9200 costs $149 and is fueled with RADEON 9200 and TV tuner. REMOTE WONDER is not included.
    “ATI is offering affordable ALL-IN-WONDER products to a wide range of consumers including students and families as well as new technology followers,” said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies.

    All graphics cards should be available shortly.

    Xbit

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    ATI surpasses Nvidia

    Xbit Labs has posted info from the latest Mercury Research findings that ATi has surpassed NVIDIA as the number two graphic provider, Intel is still numero uno. Yes, the margin is razor thin, but still a significant accomplishment for ATi.

    According to a report from a Goldman Sachs analyst Andrew Root quoting data from Mercury Research, ATI Technologies became the world’s No.2 graphics supplier surpassing NVIDIA by a small margin and getting closer to the market leader – Intel Corporation. Reportedly, in the fourth quarter of 2003 Intel had 31.7% of the market, down 3.3% from the previous quarter; ATI commanded 24.9%, up 3.9% from the Q3 2003; NVIDIA owned 24.7% of the market, 0.3% less compared to a quarter before. Goldman Sachs said that NVIDIA lost its share points in its key market segment – standalone graphics processors for PCs. In contrast, ATI’s market share of standalone desktop graphics chips soared during the fourth quarter, according to Goldman Sachs.

    HardOCP

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    Faster chip company signs up with ATI
    Intrinsity - why does ATI want that action?


    A firm called Intrinsity, which describes itself as the "Faster Processor Company", signed a deal with ATI yesterday.
    ATI will license its technology in future consumer products, according to Intrinsity, a firm based in Austin TX.

    It said ATI signed the deal to license the technology after realising that its Fast 14 tech could "deliver up to four times the performance of the silicon dollar" when compared to other approaches.

    The Fast 14 tech, said Intrinsity, differs from conventional desktop processors at multi GHz speeds with time consuming and expensive circuits by taking a small design team approach.

    Intrinsity has products called FastMATH chips which use high speed IO, and MIPS based cores.

    The firm has over 83 patents filed for its tech, and claims it can double the frequencies on regular process technology.

    So we can see ATI fancies some of that design action, if Intrinsity's claims are to be given credit.

    The Inquirer

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    ATI's 2004 plans unveiled: R420/423 specs

    We have just stumbled upon week-old ATI roadmaps confirming and putting to rest a number of the rumors that have been floating around. For whatever reason, information on ATI has been difficult to come by whereas we've seen a lot reported on NVIDIA. That all changes today as we uncover ATI's plans for 2004.

    There's no need for a lengthy introduction, let's get to it...

    PCI Express

    ATI's entire roadmap revolves around the transition to PCI Express, which ATI is particularly happy with since they will be providing native PCI Express GPUs from the get-go. The difference between a native PCI Express GPU and a "bridge" solution is that the latter has a little translator that takes PCI Express interface commands and converts them to AGP interface commands which are then sent off to the GPU. Obviously a bridge solution isn't very elegant and it isn't desirable from any standpoint other than a time-to-market one as it's always quicker and easier to have one GPU that can talk to any interface. Eventually no GPUs will have this silly PCI Express bridge, but at the start ATI is happy to announce that all of their GPUs will be "bridge-free."

    In order to accomplish a bridge-free roadmap, ATI has to have two versions of every GPU: a PCIe and an AGP version (or an AGP substitute). Keep this in mind as we look at the GPUs due out in '04 since you'll be seeing two per market segment, one AGP and one PCIe.

    It's also worth noting that all of ATI's GPUs will be available in both PCIe and AGP flavors throughout 2004.

    R420 and R423 at the high end

    We have been hearing about R420 for quite some time now and recently the name R423 has been in the headlines. As you can guess, R420 is the AGP successor to the R350 (Radeon 9800) while R423 is a PCIe version of the R420. The specs on the two GPUs are as follows:

    0.13-micron low-k manufacturing process
    160M transistors
    ~500MHz core clock
    8 pipe design
    6 vertex engines
    Improvements to all of the basic architectural features (shader engines, AA, etc...)
    256MB 256-bit GDDR3 (~1GHz data rate)
    Single slot design
    The R420/423 chips will offer twice the pixel fill rate and vertex throughput of the R350 core, as well as increases in memory bandwidth. Initial indications show that there may be two versions of the R420/423 with different memory clocks; one design calls for ~1GHz GDDR3 memory while the other calls for slower DDR1 memory.

    It isn't clear whether R423 (PCIe) based designs will eventually carry higher clock speeds than their AGP counterparts, but there is a definite possibility.

    2004 ATI enthusiast GPU roadmap

    Name Radeon 9800 XT N/A N/A N/A
    Chipset R360 R420 R423 R480
    GPU Clock 412MHz ~500MHz ~500MHz ???
    Memory Clock 730MHz 1.0GHz 1.0GHz ???
    Memory Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit ???
    Process 0.15-micron 0.13-micron 0.13-micron ???
    Memory Type GDDR2 GDDR3 GDDR3 ???
    Pipeline 8 8 8 ???
    Vertex Shaders 4 6 6 ???
    Transistor Count 110Mil 160Mil 160Mil ???
    Interface AGP AGP PCI-Express ???
    Availability Now Q2'04 Q2'04 H2'04

    Slightly less high-end: RV380

    ATI's roadmaps call the RV380 the "world first PCI Express graphics controller," which says to us that we'll see RV380 before we'll see R423 (but not necessarily before R420). The RV380 will not have an AGP version, instead if you want AGP support ATI suggests you look at the Radeon 9800 (non-Pro) or the Radeon 9600XT, which give you an idea of the RV380's pricepoint. The RV380 specs are as follows:

    0.13-micron low-k manufacturing process
    ~500MHz core clock
    4 pipe design
    2 vertex engines
    Improvements to all of the basic architectural features (shader engines, AA, etc...)
    128/256MB 128-bit (600 - 800MHz data rate)
    Single slot design
    2004 ATI Midrange GPU Roadmap

    Name Radeon 9600 XT N/A N/A
    Chipset RV360 RV380 RV410
    GPU Clock 500MHz ~500MHz ???
    Memory Clock 600MHz ~800MHz ???
    Memory Width 128-bit 128-bit ???
    Process 0.13-micron 0.13-micron ???
    Memory Type GDDR N/A ???
    Pipeline 4 4 ???
    Vertex Shaders 2 2 ???
    Transistor Count 75 Million N/A ???
    Interface AGP PCI-Express ???
    Availability Now Q2'04 Q2'04

    RV380 seems to keep the same core clock as the Radeon 9600XT but potentially improves on memory performance thanks to a higher maximum memory clock. It looks like RV380 is just a PCIe derivative of the RV360.

    RV370 - 0.11-micron
    ATI's roadmap for the first half of 2004 closes with the low-end RV370 built on a 0.11-micron process. The RV370 will feature 4 rendering pipelines and 2 vertex engines but its 0.11-micron feature size should make the chip very affordable. We unfortunately don't have much more information at RV370 at this time.

    2004 ATI value GPU roadmap

    Name Radeon 9000 N/A
    Chipset RV250 RV370
    GPU Clock 250MHz ???
    Memory Clock 400MHz ~600MHz
    Memory Width 64/128-bit 64/??-bit
    Process 0.15-micron 0.11-micron
    Memory Type GDDR ???
    Pipeline 4 4
    Vertex Shaders 2 2
    Transistor Count 36 Million ???
    Interface AGP ???
    Availability Now Q2'04

    What's in store for Fall?

    Of course we wouldn't just leave you with information about what's around the corner, but here's what to expect in the Fall from ATI:

    The R420/423 will receive a speed-bump refresh called the R480.
    The RV380 will get a similar bump with the RV410.
    The RV410 will also be offered in an AGP solution, unlike the RV380.
    The low end remains virtually unchanged, with the RV380 and RV370 trickling down to lower price points but there won't be any new cores below the RV410 in 2H '04.

    AnandTech

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    ATI R420 A12 silicon ready - shock
    Sooner than anyone expected


    We learned to our amazement that ATI has production silicon for its flagship R420 chip. This is, apparently, a closely held secret and the card design is close to its final phase.
    A12 is the stepping of silicon that means that the chip is ready for production and we are told that cards could be available much closer then planned, just depending on the marketing department saying yes.

    The ATI Radeon 9800XT is still in the channel and ATI doesn't want to kill its sales numbers as there are quite a few of these cards remaining to be sold.

    This information might get Nvidia concerned since its samples are just out but Nvidia won't start production before April as we reported before.

    ATI partners have all the time they need to tweak this card design to make it up and running but ATI doesn't want to show us any cards before or during CeBIT.

    We expect that ATI will launch very soon after CeBIT as we already learned that the Halls of Mirrors – otherwise known as the NDA rooms -- will be full of ATI cards, with, quite possibly, the R420 among them.

    Some serious strategic games are involved we suspect and ATI sure has changed many things from its summer time agenda and timelines "on the fly", so to speak.

    The Inquirer

    R420 thread

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