Taiwanese sources close to both AMD and Nvidia have confirmed that AMD will be first to market with DirectX 11 capable graphics cards and they’re currently expected to arrive in October of this year – right in line with Windows 7’s expected release.
The sources said that AMD is “essentially ready
” to release the new family of GPUs – and has been for some time – but the company is waiting for the problems with TSMC’s 40nm process to be ironed out.
The new family of GPUs – with the flagship rumoured to be called RV870 (although not confirmed by our sources) – will follow the same strategy that AMD employed with the Radeon HD 3000 and 4000 series. This means we can expect AMD to double up and use a pair of its fastest GPUs to create a dual-GPU flagship product of a similar ilk to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which dominated the high-end for many months.
Nvidia, on the other hand, is expected to release another big GPU, but it is unlikely to be a conservative effort like GT200 – we’re told the focus will very much be on maximising performance and efficiency when switching between graphics and general computing tasks (i.e. using the Compute Shader). It’s unclear whether it’ll be enough of a brute to match the performance of two smaller Radeon GPUs on a single board though.
With that said, our sources said that GT300 had taped out but Nvidia is being quite cagey about a release timeframe. It has been manufactured on TSMC’s 40nm node, which AMD has been having a lot of trouble with as RV740 chips are in “very short supply
.” If the problems with the process aren’t ironed out, it could affect both companies which wouldn’t be good for us consumers.
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