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GDDR5 for AMD’s next-gen graphics chip is shipping

GDDR5 for AMD’s next-gen graphics chip is shipping

Qimonda has announced that it has started shipping GDDR5 memory for AMD’s next-generation "R700" family of graphics processors.

Qimonda has announced that it has started shipping GDDR5 memory for AMD’s next-generation graphics processors, meaning that the launch of the “R700” generation of products is imminent.

The memory manufacturer says that it has already started mass producing and shipping GDDR5 512Mbit modules (rated at 4.0Gbps per pin) to AMD.

"We are very proud to supply AMD with GDDR5 volume shipments only six months after first product samples have been delivered," said Robert Feurle, Vice President Business Unit Specialty DRAM of Qimonda, in a statement.

Sources close to AMD have said that RV770 will be the first chip to support GDDR5 memory, but only one of the two RV770-based cards at launch will use the new memory technologies. The second part, which is believed to be called RV770PRO internally, will use GDDR3 memory instead. Both products will likely feature 480 stream processors (in a similar arrangement to the current RV670 chips – i.e. 96 5-way shader units) and a 256-bit memory interface.

Word in Taiwan is that the shader units will run at a higher clock than the rest of the GPU, but none of the clock speeds are finalised yet on either product. We’ll be keeping our ear to the ground in the run up to the launch.

AMD has been quite public on its intentions for the future – it no longer intends to make ‘big’ GPUs in light of the problems it had with both R520 and R600. Instead, it intends to take the fight to Nvidia with multiple GPUs, further expanding on the transparency of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 implementation.

How AMD plans to improve on the 3870 X2’s implementation is unclear at the moment, but everything is pointing towards driver transparency—in other words, the driver will see the multiple GPUs as ‘one’. Whether or not that will happen in this next round of releases is not certain, but that appears to be the ‘holy grail’ having spoken to several sources ‘in the know’.

Are you looking forward to this round of launches? Share your thoughts in the forums.

10 Comments

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Krikkit 21st May 2008, 11:55 Quote
What ever happened to GDDR4? Too expensive?

I think AMD need a rework of their lineup before they'll be able to compete at the very top-end on single-card solutions with nVidia again, although the 3870 X2 was pretty interesting.
frontline 21st May 2008, 12:32 Quote
Will be interested to see what (if any) improvements are shown in multi-gpu setups, as crossfire has potential but it is frustratingly inconsistent at present.
WildThing 21st May 2008, 14:28 Quote
Cool, I plan on getting one of AMD's new graphics cards, though I am always a bit sceptical if its just higher clock frequencies and not much change of the architecture of the gpu.
chrisb2e9 21st May 2008, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
What ever happened to GDDR4? Too expensive?

I think AMD need a rework of their lineup before they'll be able to compete at the very top-end on single-card solutions with nVidia again, although the 3870 X2 was pretty interesting.

Thats what they are doing though,
Quote:
it no longer intends to make ‘big’ GPUs in light of the problems it had with both R520 and R600. Instead, it intends to take the fight to Nvidia with multiple GPUs, further expanding on the transparency of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 implementation.
except that it looks like they wont bother fighting for the top card spot anymore.
Panos 21st May 2008, 16:13 Quote
The future is RED!!
Crossfire is being supported both by AMD and Intel apparently. And based on the fact that still Nvidia hasn't obtain licence for the next Intel series of processors, it doesn't matter how powerfull single GPU ATI can make as long is good enough and cheap to produce.

As long as they can plug 3-4 GPU in one card and wire more than one of them on the motherboards (all Intel chipsets support xfire, along with ATI ones), the competition hasn't any reply other than follow (difficult since SLI is tricky especialy when it's not supported by the motherboards) or spend all their money to develop single chip solutions.

Don't forget. Crossfire technology supported 32-way connectivity from day one. SLI is strill struggling to make 3 cards work.

I would like to see those 4x PCI-e motherboards, with 4 3870X2 on.
Hamish 21st May 2008, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
How AMD plans to improve on the 3870 X2’s implementation is unclear at the moment, but everything is pointing towards driver transparency
didnt i hear somewhere that they were going to let both GPUs access the same memory pool?
IE instead of having 512mb for each gpu it would be 1gig spread across both
HourBeforeDawn 21st May 2008, 17:17 Quote
Well I am certainly looking forward to this. ^_^
MrMonroe 21st May 2008, 18:10 Quote
Quote:
AMD has been quite public on its intentions for the future – it no longer intends to make ‘efficient’ GPUs in light of the problems it had with both R520 and R600. Instead, it intends to take the fight to Nvidia with multiple GPUs, further expanding on the transparency of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 implementation.

Fixed. Brute force computing is a bad way of solving problems.
Quote:

Don't forget. Crossfire technology supported 32-way connectivity from day one. SLI is strill struggling to make 3 cards work.
Too bad it doesn't provide many tangible benefits, and it certainly isn't justifiable considering price. (Neither is 3-way SLI, of course)
rhuitron 21st May 2008, 20:54 Quote
Seriously, What the flood ever happened to GDDR4?
sagittary 22nd May 2008, 10:05 Quote
It will be interesting to see how things develop. The change in ATI's approach mirrors what happened in the CPU arena - a change from trying to pump out high amounts of megahertz to instead focusing on efficiency across many CPUs with more moderate brute force ability. As the demands of GPUs and current graphical technology (as far as regular people go) handle multi-GPUs differently than how programs can use multi-CPUs, I can see the change in approach only working if they succeed at more than just a hardware level. Not just good drivers but -great- drivers and the ability to seamlessly use many GPUs as easily as one uses many CPUs in implementation and usage (for developers and consumers).
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