A report on DailyTech suggests that AMD's upcoming high-end graphics processor, codenamed R600, is not scheduled to enter production until some time next month.
Because of this, DailyTech believes that the card won't be launched until mid-March
- either at or around the time of this year's CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany.
There have obviously been more delays for AMD and ATI, because R600 was originally scheduled to launch at the end of January
in time for the consumer launch of Windows Vista.
Current test samples of the card using GDDR3 are based on "A12" silicon, and there will be one final re-spin before its launch meaning that final R600 silicon will be "A13".
The flagship product at launch will use GDDR4 memory and it's rumoured that R600 will use a full 512-bit memory interface, because leaked pictures of the GPU show that it is rotated by 45 degrees on the chip packaging. This could give AMD a significant advantage in memory bandwidth, especially with the inclusion of high-speed GDDR4 DRAM chips. Clock frequencies for both core and memory haven't been finalised yet, and won't be for a number of weeks.
In addition, R610 and R630 have appeared on the company's latest roadmaps - these are believed to be mid-range and entry-level products, but details are very scarce at the moment. Typically though, ATI's mid-range and entry-level product codenames have been given an RV prefix, so this is merely speculation at the moment.
One concern is that we know NVIDIA is planning to shrink it's G80 graphics processor as soon as possible, and it has already started shipping its first 80-nanometre G73-B1 silicon. It's possible that NVIDIA may launch faster versions of G80 using an 80-nanometre process node at CeBIT too, as the show is almost six months after the launch of the original GeForce 8800-series cards.
AMD's saving grace is the fact that there are no DirectX 10 games out at the moment, and they're probably not going to start shipping until March at the earliest. We'll have to wait a bit longer to see how the latest GPU war pans out.