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More GT212 Information Forthcoming

NVIDIA's G200b, its current flagship GPU will be suceeded later this year with the GT212, and as Hardware Infos discovers, NVIDIA seems to have given some interesting specifications to the GT212. To begin with, the GPU holds more than 1.8 billion transistors. It is built on TSMC's 40nm manufacturing node. The shader domain gets a boost with 384 shader units (a 60% increase over G200(b)). The GPU holds 96 texture memory units and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory bus with a clock speed of 1250 MHz (5000 MT/s).

The transition to GDDR5 seemed inevitable, with there being a genuine incentive of cutting down the number of memory chips (due to the efficient memory bus), with NVIDIA having completely avoided GDDR4. With the die-size being expected to be around 300 sq. mm, these GPUs will be cheaper to manufacture. The GT212 is slated for Q2 2009.

Source: Hardware-Infos

The Foundry Company to Make GPUs, To Accept Designs from Other Manufacturers Soon

At the AMD Analyst Day event, AMD indicated in its presentations that The Foundry Company, a manufacturing company formed from the assets of AMD with the intestments of ATIC under the AssetSmart program, would in the future become an independent foundry company accepting foundry partnerships from companies apart from its one largest customer, AMD. The move would keep the newly formed company profitable and competitive with other Asian foundry companies.

In the same presentation, AMD also indicated that eventually it would assign manufacturing of its ATI Radeon GPUs and chipsets, to The Foundry Company (TFC). Currently GPUs and chipsets are being manufacuted by foundry companies such as TSMC and UMC in Taiwan. This move would send a significant chunk of manufacturing to TFC. Sources tell ATI Forum.de that at FAB38 Dresden, a major manufacturing facility, installations of the 40nm bulk manufacturing node is in full-swing (not to be confused with 45nm SOI, on which K10.5 processors are built). Also there are indications of the facility accepting orders for manufacturing chips on the new node from other fab-less companies, an attempt to bring in profitability right from the start.

Source: ATI Forum

RV740 Successfully Taped Out, Other 40nm GPUs Follow

The RV740 graphics processor by AMD could well be the first GPU in production, to be built on the newer 40nm manufacturing process, giving its makers something to brag about. The RV740 design and specifications are largely derived from the RV770LE (covered here), while bringing the GDDR5 memory standard to the mainstream.

Chinese industrial journals tell DigiTimes that the company has completed taping-out the RV740, and that the GPU is awaiting mass-production by AMD's foundry partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Mass production of products based on this GPU could commence by the end of Q1 2009.

RV740 Taped-Out, First 40nm GPU From AMD

The manufacturing process technologies for graphics processors that dominated the 2008 were TSMC 65nm and 55nm. While AMD made the transition to 55nm over an year ago, it was a little later when we started seeing 55nm versions of existing NVIDIA GPUs.

A month into TSMC's announcement of of its 40nm bulk production node, AMD has reportedly taped out its first 40nm GPU, the RV740. While this is no high-end GPU, it is supposed to be the first successful port of AMD's GPU architecture to the new node. The RV740 succeeds the RV730, the GPU that went into the making the Radeon HD 4670. It is a mainstream GPU that ideally should make it to the sub-$100 graphics card segment. With RV740, AMD gains some experience as a manufacturer as it works on the RV870 "Lil' Dragon", the next generation GPU from the red camp. A product based on the RV740 can be expected only after Q1 2009.Source: NordicHardware

Hynix 7GT/s GDDR5 Chip to Make it to Major SKUs, R700 Included

Sources in the industry point out that the 7 GT/s GDDR5 memory chip made by Hynix (model: H5GQ1H24AFR), which was announced earlier in this week, would make it to several major graphics board SKUs by both AMD and NVIDIA. The two companies have chosen TSMC and its 40nm fabrication process as the foundry partner for their upcoming 40nm graphics processors, namely AMD RV870 and NVIDIA GT212.

Both these chips would feature GDDR5 memory bus capabilities, and there are indications of the 7 GT/s DRAM chip being incorporated into graphics boards based on these GPUs. Additionally, there is also word that AMD will be using the said DRAM chip in its current flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in the near future. Both AMD and NVIDIA are expected to have taped out their 40nm GPU designs within Q1, 2009.Source: Expreview

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Announces 40nm Volume Production

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) today announced volume production of the first semiconductor foundry 40nm logic manufacturing process with the successful ramp of its 40 nanometer (nm) General Purpose (G) and Low Power (LP) versions. Nanometers measure the width of metal lines in semiconductors. Forty nanometers is less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair.
The 40nm process is one of the semiconductor industry’s most advanced available for production manufacturing process and is expected to play a key role in the development of next generation products in global consumer electronics, mobile, and computer end markets.

NVIDIA and AMD to begin 40nm GPU Conquests in 2009

Reports suggest that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) could receive manufacturing contracts by AMD, and long-time customer NVIDIA, for graphics processors based on the newest 40nm silicon fabrication process. The two giants in the visual computing industry, are expected to skip the 45nm process altogether. This is seen as a move to cut down manufacturing costs, and use the most feasible manufacturing technologies. Miniaturizing circuitry at that scale would allow them to build even more complex silicon machinery, with much higher transistor counts, while maintaining size constraints.

AMD on its part would have to use the services of TSMC, since the foundry company's fab in Dresden is only capable of 45nm SOI fabrication process, and that it would take as long as 2010, by the time the expected 32nm process is ready at the New York fab. The next star-entry for AMD would be the ATI RV870, and as for NVIDIA, it would continue development of monolithic high-end GPUs with GT216, a successor to the G200 GPU. Meanwhile, the companies could continue aggressive competition, with projections of up to 20% price-cuts by Christmas 2008 shopping season. Their 40nm GPU designs could be ready by the end of this year, and 40nm GPUs could be supplied by June, 2009.Source: CENS

First AMD Fusion Specifications, Hint Toward RV710 Specs.

AMD Fusion could well be the first CPU to feature a graphics processor core. It will incorporate a graphics processor with specifications identical to the RV710. This CPU would be based on the 45 nm silicon fabrication process, and this processor will be manufactured at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). This GPU will be called "Kong". Here are its specifications:
  • Core Frequency between 600 ~ 800 MHz
  • 128-bit wide memory bus (DDR3, Side-port supportive)
  • 40 Stream Processors
  • 8 TMUs, 4 ROPs
  • DirectX 10.1 support
  • UVD

960 SP-laden RV870 in the Works, and more

Sources at TSMC told Hardspell that the next graphics processor (GPU) by ATI/AMD, the RV870 in the works have specifications such as:
  • 40nm or 45nm fab process
  • 140 sq. mm die size
  • 192 ALUs, 960 stream processors
  • 256-bit GDDR5 memory controller
It is believed that this GPU could perform 1.2 times better than RV770, purely based on the paper-specs.

Another interesting news is that R800, unlike its predecessors the R700 and R680, might not be a dual-GPU card but the world's first dual-core GPU.Source: Hardspell

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) May Hike High-End Chip Prices

Top contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) said on Tuesday it may start charging more for its higher-end chips as a result of the higher production costs, inflation and oil prices. "Average selling prices have been falling and profits have been under pressure, and we have to work together to create value," Jason Chen, a company vice president in charge of global sales and marketing, told a TSMC technology symposium. He specified that price changes would be mostly for chips made by advanced process technology, but did not say how big they would be or when they would occur. It's also unclear whether this will reflect on prices of the next generation NVIDIA video cards. As you may know, TSMC currently produces most of the GeForce graphics processors. "We face some structural profit pressure. In the short term, we also face pressure from inflation and oil prices," Chen said. Continue reading the full story here.Source: eWeek
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