Thursday, November 29, 2007

ATI Readies New High-Performance Mobile Graphics Processor – Rumours

Advanced Micro Devices plans to return ATI Mobility Radeon back into high-performance notebooks with the new graphics product called ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800, which is based on the company’s new graphics architecture.

ATI Technologies used to be the absolute leader in mobile graphics market just several years ago thanks to low power consumption of graphics chips, stability of drivers and proper support. But when the company released its ATI Radeon X1800 and then, already as graphics product group of AMD, ATI Radeon HD 2900, the company was unable to deliver a truly high-performance mobile graphics processing unit (GPU) due to exceptionally high power consumption. However, this situation may change, once AMD releases ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800.

According several reports around the Internet, ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, readies ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800 GPU to finally return to the market of notebooks for gamers, who demand high-performance graphics. Some web-sites even claimed that the novelty will be available in Toshiba Dynabook Satellite TXW/69W for Japanese market, however, the manufacturer itself offers ATI Radeon HD3800-series graphics adapters with its novelty, according to its web-site. Since mid-range mobile GPU and high-end mobile chip are most likely to use different form-factor, it is hardly possible for Toshiba to allow end-users to select the graphics component.

Actual specifications of ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3800 remain unknown, however, they are more than likely to resemble those of the desktop model HD 3800. The ATI Radeon HD 3800-series graphics processors sport 320 unified shader processors (SPs), 16 texture units (TUs), 16 render back ends (RBEs), Avivo HD post-processing engine along with universal video decoder (UVD) for high-definition video and is equipped with 256-bit memory controller. The novelty is made using 55nm process technology, which means reduced power consumption for both desktop and mobile computers, and features DirectX 10.1 capabilities, something that rivals lack, but also a feature that gamers will hardly need for a considerable amount of time from now.

Currently the highest-performing graphics component for mobile computers from AMD is ATI Mobility Radeon X1900, which is based on the architecture announced back in 2005. As a result, AMD’s graphics product group badly needs to renew its lineup of high-end mobile GPUs as the market of such components brings relatively high profit margin, which the whole company truly needs these days.

It is not completely clear when AMD plans to unveil the new Mobility Radeon product, but given that the novelty features PCI Express 2.0 along with advanced power saving capabilities, the chipmaker may delay it till its next-generation notebook platform is available. Nevertheless, as rumours about the new part are starting to loom already, the Santa Clara, California-based company may speed up its release in order to better compete against recently released high-performance Nvidia GeForce 8800M-series GPUs from its arch-rival.

Officials from Advanced Micro Devices did not comment on the news-story.

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