ATI's next GPU similar to Xbox 360 chip

Written by Tim Smalley

February 23, 2006 // 4:13 p.m.

Tags: #360 #architecture #ati #edram #e-dram #generation #gpu #next #next-gen #pixel #programming #shader #unified #vertex #vista #windows #xbox

Rick Bergman, ATI's Senior VP of PC Business has recently confirmed that their next-generation of desktop graphics processing units will feature a lot of the technology developed for the GPU inside Xbox 360.

The GPU inside Xbox 360 utilises a unified shader architecture, unifying the vertex engines and pixel engines together, meaning that it's possible to devote 100% of the silicon to which ever task is the bottleneck.

DirectX10 will arrive in time for Windows Vista and will unify the vertex and pixel shader programming capabilities in the new API.

Previously, the vertex and pixel shaders were kept separate in both software and hardware, but the upcoming "Glass" GUI implemented into Windows Vista will put constant load on the graphics processing unit. This meant that graphics companies have had to re-think the way they go about pushing pixels onto our screens.

An anonymous source inside ATI told us that the one part of the Xbox 360 GPU that is not included in ATI's next generation plans is the E-DRAM chip. We understand that implementing E-DRAM into a desktop product would cause a number of programming headaches, because the API would have to be redesigned to accept an on-board E-DRAM chip.

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