Sunday, February 22nd 2009

RV790 Built on Improved 55 nm Manufacturing Process

It is clear now, that AMD's next performance GPU, the RV790 will be built on the 55 nm manufacturing process. To build on this information, sources tell German website Hardware-Infos that one of the factors that will help the new GPU perform better and run at higher clock-speeds than its predecessor, the RV770 does, is the newer improved 55 nm manufacturing process it will be built on. Going by the foundry-partner codename "55GT", the RV790 may get a little help from its superior silicon fabrication, which invariably makes it more expensive to manufacture.

One of the reasons behind why AMD is starting its 40 nm GPU lineup with a mainstream GPU such as RV740, is that the 40 nm process needs further development by foundry companies. It hasn't developed to the level that safely permits manufacturing high-end GPUs with stellar transistor-counts. For the same reason, NVIDIA's 40 nm conquest will be flagged off by the entry-level GT218 GPU. High-density circuits built on the current 40 nm process are known to be very prone to electrical leakage.

RV790 engineering-samples undergoing testing are known to be coming in two flavours according to the source: a base model and an overclocked model. The base model comes with the same exact clock speeds as the RV770XT: 750/900 MHz (core/memory), while the overclocked model is known to come with clock speeds of 850/975 MHz (core/memory). To achieve that 100 MHz increment in core frequency, the voltage is known to be stepped-up from 1.24 to 1.30 V. Products based on this GPU are known to surface by April.Source: Hardware-Infos
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19 Comments on RV790 Built on Improved 55 nm Manufacturing Process

#1
alexp999
Staff
Isnt the RV770 55nm though, I'm :confused: as to what has actually been improved.
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: alexp999
Isnt the RV770 55nm though, I'm :confused: as to what has actually been improved.
Reduced electrical leakage, removed rudimentary parts, better quality manufacturing, all to facilitate better clock speeds.
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#3
alexp999
Staff
by: btarunr
Reduced electrical leakage, removed rudimentary parts, better quality manufacturing, all to facilitate better clock speeds.
Ahh, makes more sense now. :toast:

Also, I think you meant: "To build on this information"
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#4
Megasty
They can't always move in leaps & bounds. I would rather for them to continue to tweak this series instead of releasing another gas guzzling egg in the next.
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#5
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Why isn't the RAM clocked higher?

by: btarunr
Reduced electrical leakage, removed rudimentary parts, better quality manufacturing, all to facilitate better clock speeds.
My bog standard HIS HD 4870 512MB does 790/1100 (4400DDR) straight from the Catalyst driver - just max out the sliders. It passes all the torture tests, too. I've seen posts from others that have achieved the same from their bog standard cards, too.

So, while the GPU clock here is higher than what I've achieved with no effort at all, I don't see why the RAM isn't clocked at 1100MHz by default.
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#6
Homeless
by: btarunr
Reduced electrical leakage, removed rudimentary parts, better quality manufacturing, all to facilitate better clock speeds.
I wonder if that stops cards from squealing
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#7
Megasty
My only beef is all the darn clicking it does when switching between 2D & 3D clocks. It was the same for the 3800s. I could even hear it over my TV & the tons of fans that's in my case.
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#8
PCpraiser100
I see where they are going...

They just created the 40nm silicon just to take on Nvidia's 40nm series early. Oh well, at least 55nm is still good enough. Maybe they will revise to 40nm sometime in the future. As for the clicking, I don't care. I think it is a way of diagnosting issues so I am confident when it clicks.
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#9
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I guessed this would be a tweaked core for higher clock speeds. I would prefer a die shrink but the results are almost the same.
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#10
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: qubit
So, while the GPU clock here is higher than what I've achieved with no effort at all, I don't see why the RAM isn't clocked at 1100MHz by default.
The company can't just clock memory at the speeds it wants, when drawing out reference specifications. They have to run them at the speeds they are spec'd to run at. The Qimonda-made chips featuring on RV790 samples are spec'd to run at 1000 MHz, but ATI runs them at 975 MHz, letting partners carve out overclocked SKUs with all the headroom that's remaining.
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#11
phanbuey
by: Homeless
I wonder if that stops cards from squealing
no they mean electrical leakage inside the gpu. The squealing comes from your capacitors (ever hear the flash capacitor squeal as it charges up a flash on a cheap disposable camera?). The cards will still squeal unless they use different types of caps.
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#12
wolf
Performance Enthusiast
its an overclocked 4870... which uses more voltage to run faster, that could probably be done now.

lets hope these improvements bring something new to the table.
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#13
my_name_is_earl
by: Megasty
My only beef is all the darn clicking it does when switching between 2D & 3D clocks. It was the same for the 3800s. I could even hear it over my TV & the tons of fans that's in my case.
You sure if it's the card? I had an hd3870x2, hd3870, and hd3850 card and it doesn't do any clicking. Only clicking you should hear is your hard drive.
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#14
imperialreign
never heard any "clicking" with my HD3870s or HD4870s . . . but I have heard the squeling before when the cards are powering up for 3D mode.

It's not annoying at all to me, though. The more closed off your case is, the less audible as well.
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#15
Megasty
by: imperialreign
never heard any "clicking" with my HD3870s or HD4870s . . . but I have heard the squeling before when the cards are powering up for 3D mode.

It's not annoying at all to me, though. The more closed off your case is, the less audible as well.
I must be hearing it when the squeling either starts or stops, but whatever noise it is its definitely coming from the X2. Its not really annoying but I just relate that sound to something that's about to break down. Its not really a click either, more like a bump...& it always happpens twice with a 2-3 second interval. I must not be hearing what's in between the bumps.
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#16
Steevo
the same reason the new Phenom IIs off the line are clocking higher, using better methods for lithography, thus cleaner traces, and more insulative material between the transistors. All this equates to less leakage, and more electrical handling with less migration problems, and thus higher clock speeds.
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#17
Hayder_Master
so there is no upgrades , just overclock using voltage mode
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#18
vagxtr
by: Steevo
the same reason the new Phenom IIs off the line are clocking higher, using better methods for lithography, thus cleaner traces, and more insulative material between the transistors. All this equates to less leakage, and more electrical handling with less migration problems, and thus higher clock speeds.
phenom 2 at least uses smaller 45nm node and give us some power reduction, unlike those power hungry monster :pimp:

and as far as insulation goes they could put it into rv770, but then again they wouldn't have shiny new refurbished product 9 month after :mad:

imho it would be much better they use that leaky rv740 x2 on same pcb to create new mainstream monster ... hey but noooo rv740 dont even have crossfire link except those software pci-e x16 cfx bridge. it a shabby tryout to squeeze as much as money they could on their new singing debutante. and what's the worst people buy it.
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#19
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: vagxtr
phenom 2 at least uses smaller 45nm node and give us some power reduction, unlike those power hungry monster :pimp:

and as far as insulation goes they could put it into rv770, but then again they wouldn't have shiny new refurbished product 9 month after :mad:
The thing is even though it doesn't look different if you looked at the blueprints or compared them with microscopes there would be differences in the cores.

For example imagine a windy road around hills and over bumps with speed limits etc and what they've done is they've flattened it all out and made it a straight flat road allowing everything to go faster.
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