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Radeon HD 4750 Previewed, Performs Closer to HD 4850

An unexpected visitor to Guru3D.com's offices was a pre-release sample of a yet to be released 40 nm RV740-based Radeon HD 4750 graphics accelerator. Not bound by any NDAs with AMD, the website went ahead with a little (p)review of the card. The HD 4750 is the RV740XT model, and features GDDR5 memory. The name contradicts an earlier report suggesting HD 4770 to be the shelf-name for the RV740XT, and HD 4750 for the GDDR3-based RV740Pro. It features 640 stream processors, core clock speeds between 650~700 MHz and GDDR5 memory clocked at 800 MHz (3.20 GHz effective), across a 128-bit wide memory bus. The RV740XT comes with a rated shader compute power of 900 GFLOPs, as against 740 GFLOPs the RV770LE-based HD 4830 is rated at, while having similar specifications. It comes with 32 TMUs and 16 ROPs.

The findings of the preview show it to be somewhere between the performance levels of the Radeon HD 4830 and HD 4850. Interestingly, Guru3D omitted GeForce 8800 GT/9800 GT from the comparison, though GeForce 9600 GT was left to face the onslaught from stronger ATI GPUs. The Radeon HD 4750 is expected to be priced below the $100 mark and is expected to outperform most competitive accelerators in its price-range. To read the review, head over to Guru3D here.

RV740 Launch Pushed to April

Following reports of AMD's next flagship GPU, the RV790 being pushed to April, a fresh report from Hardware-Infos suggests that its sibling, the RV740 will join the league of the company's product launches slated for April. Company sources tell Hardware-Infos that the company has no product-launches scheduled for the upcoming CeBIT event held in Germany. The report suggests constraints of TSMC, a major foundry partner for AMD's graphics product group (GPG), with regards to its 40 nm bulk manufacturing process, as a likely cause although this bit wasn't endorsed by the source.

Another source shed some light on the specifications of the two graphics processors. It is suggested that the RV790 has expanded machinery at its disposal, with 960 stream processors and 48 texture memory units. Engineering samples based on the said GPU are known to carry faster memory chips. The specifications coupled with the suggested higher clock speeds of 850/975 MHz (core/memory) help explain how the RV790 could manage to pose competition to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 accelerator. The RV740 on the other hand, is said to carry 640 stream processors, 32 texture memory units, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface.

Samsung Begins Production of High-performance GDDR5 Memory Using 50-nm Technology

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology and the leading producer of high-end graphics memory, announced today that it has begun mass producing GDDR5 graphics memory using 50-nanometer class process technology.

"Our early 2009 introduction of GDDR5 chips will help us to meet the growing demand for higher performance graphics memory in PCs, graphic cards and game consoles," said Mueez Deen, director, mobile and graphics memory, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Because GDDR5 is the fastest and highest performing memory in the world, we're able to improve the gaming experience with it across all platforms," he added.

Sapphire Announces AMD FireStream 9270

Sapphire, the single largest add-in board partner for AMD, announced its FireStream 9270 GPGPU accelerator. Devices of this class exploit the general purpose computing capabilities of graphics processors, back them with a software architecture, and a programming environment to make for a dedicated number-crunching machine that holds rated computational power much higher than that of CPUs. Product lines in this class includes the AMD FireStream, that finds competition in NVIDIA's Tesla.

The appearance of the FireStream 9270 suggests it has been derived from the ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics accelerator, albeit different clock speeds, different drivers, four times the amount of memory, and connections. The core features 800 stream cores that churn out peak computational power of 1.2 TFLOPs (single precision floating-point) and 240 GFLOPs (double precision floating-point). The floating point format is in adherence to IEEE standards. It features 2 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 850 MHz, with a peak bandwidth of 108.8 GB/s. The FireStream 9270 is backed by AMD's Stream 1.3 SDK that can be currently downloaded for free. It supports OpenCL in Microsoft Windows and Linux environments. The accelerator will be released by Sapphire towards the end of February, at a price of $1499. Additionally, AMD is teaming up with server-builder Aprius to release a 4U rack chassis system that holds as many as eight FireStream 9270 accelerators that churn out a theoretical max computational power of 9.6 TFLOPs.

RV740 to Make Radeon HD 4730, HD 4750 SKUs?

AMD is on course of releasing the industry's first GPU built on the 40nm silicon process: the RV740. Its specifications make it a cheap yet powerful GPU for the segment it is about to cater to. With the earliest pointers hinting at 640 stream processors and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. The GPU also marks the industry's first mainstream implementation of the GDDR5 standard.

Fresh details emerging out of the inspection of the driver information files of ATI Catalyst version 9.1, as German website ATI Forum finds out, hints at the possibility of the RV740 being implemented in two SKUs: the Radeon HD 4730 and Radeon HD 4750. While in the driver file, the device string lists with "RV630", it can be seen throughout the file that several strings are assigned to the same RV630, and is merely a means to identifying a whole class or generation of graphics processors to the driver. Additionally, the string bears the device ID of the RV670, again, that's not relevant. The strings are what matter. The RV740 is not very far away from large scale production. It should become a reality by the upcoming CeBIT event, in March. From the view of being a mere postulation, RV740 being the GPU that goes into making the new SKUs, does end up sounding plausible. When released, these cards are intended to further strengthen AMD's market position in the sub-US $150 market.

RV790 Samples Carry Faster Memory

Having taped out late last year, samples based on the new RV790 graphics processor have been doing rounds in the industry. A few more details have surfaced about it. Earlier noted to have identical clock speeds to that of the RV770XT (Radeon HD 4870), the RV790 samples are now known to have higher memory clock speeds. While the Radeon HD 4870 has its memory frequency at 900 MHz GDDR5 (effective 3.60 GHz), the samples carry memory clocked at 975 MHz (effective 3.90 GHz). Interestingly the memory chips on the sample, labeled IDGV1G-05A1F1C-40X, made by Qimonda, are specified to run at 1.00 GHz, reaching the 4 GHz effective memory speed mark. The samples feature 1 GB of memory. The RV790 is AMD's new current-generation graphics processor built on the newer 40nm silicon fabrication process. The new process is expected to reduce the GPU's power consumption and thermal footprint. The RV790 is conceived to be an immediate successor to the RV770 GPU.

RV790 and RV740 Samples Surface, Specifications Gain Clarity

Some of the first batches, rather iterations, of RV790 and RV740 engineering samples have begun surfacing. Sources reveal bits and pieces of the new GPUs' specifications to Hardware-Infos. Being some of the first samples, these are merely iterations en route the development of the final product, though trend has it that preliminary information about AMD GPUs have a tendency of turning out true. We will exempt the RV770's final stream processor count from these.

The RV740, a mainstream GPU from AMD, is on course of becoming the first GPU in production, to be built on the 40nm manufacturing node. It carries 640 stream processors and a core clock speed of 700 MHz. It features a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory bus, churning out bandwidth that rivals equally clocked GDDR3 with double the bus width. The memory bus will be clocked at speeds between 800 and 900 MHz (3.2 GT/s and 3.6 GT/s). Products will carry 512 to 1024 MB of memory. The GPU houses 32 texture memory units (TMUs) and 8 raster operations pipelines (ROPs).

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.

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 a 40nm RV770LE in Disguise?

RV740, the first GPU built by AMD on the 40nm silicon fabrication process, seems to be gaining attention. While earlier reports suggested this core to be simply a miniaturized RV730, a fresh report emerging from VR-Zone says otherwise.

The RV740 is supposed to be largely derived from the RV770, as in its RV770LE avatar which went into making the ATI Radeon HD 4830. There are some interesting specifications attached to it. To begin with, the core physically holds only 640 stream processors, in comparison to the 800(+) on the RV770. The core continues to have 32 texture memory units (TMUs) and 16 render back-ends. Interestingly, there is a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory bus instead of 256-bit wide GDDR3 (for the RV770LE). With this, the RV740 has a rated memory bandwidth identical to that of the RV770LE, 57.6 GB/s, though the bus width would warrant the use of lesser number of memory chips, and effectively reduce manufacturing costs. Graphics cards based on this GPU are expected to emerge in early 2009. You can also expect derivatives based on this core with GDDR4, GDDR3 or even DDR2 memory. In any case, the products are expected to cost below US $100.

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.

Hynix Rolls-out 7 GT/s GDDR5 Memory Chip

DRAM major, Hynix has announced the depelopment of 7 GT/s GDDR5 memory chips for use by the visual-computing industry. These chips are built on the company's 54nm silicon fabrication technology.

The 1 Gb (128 MB) chips labelled H5GQ1H24AFR operate at the fastest speeds so far: 7 Gbps (or GT/s), which is a 40% boost in speeds compared to the older 5 GT/s chips already in production. The chip handles up to 28 GB of data per second across a 32-bit wide interface. The incorporation of new fab. processes also means reduced power consumption at 1.35V power supply. The JEDEC-standard 1Gb GDDR5 graphics DRAM chip targets high-end applications such as game consoles and graphics cards. The company will commence volume production in the first half of 2009.

Power and Innovation to Drive High-End GPUs in 2009

The year 2008 so far, has been very eventful for the graphics card market. A reinvigorated GPU lineup by ATI, brought in some fierce competition to NVIDIA, which resulted in a tug-of-war with pricing graphics cards in the market, with either company refusing to lose on grounds of pricing. This event, coupled with the announcement of several game titles by game publishers, resulted in bumper-sales of graphics cards, giving the present state of the global economy little or no relevance.

The months to come hold the same amount of importance for both AMD and NVIDIA, where the next round of competition begins with successors to current high-end products being slated. NVIDIA is expected to continue with its monolithic high transistor-count GPU design methodology, while AMD could bring in a little change to the way it uses two efficient GPUs to build powerful products.

ASUS Prepares Dark Knight ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Video Card

French site Matbe, posted today photos of the first ATI video card produced by ASUS and branded as Dark Knight edition. This is the third card (correct me if I'm wrong) to go under this relatively new series of ASUS video cards. The EAH4870 DK/HTDI/512M is an ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB GDDR5 memory, a PCI-Express 2.0 interface CrossFireX support and dual-DVI connectivity. Although the Dark Knight nickname suggests boosted clock speeds the card comes at the reference 750MHz GPU and 3600MHz memory speeds. It only features an improved cooling system, that consists of four heatpipes and bigger fan. Early European etailers already price the card at 263 Euro. A Dark Knight HD 4870 with 1GB onboard memory is also rumored to be in the works.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 TOXIC 512MB GDDR5 Video Card Spotted

AMD/ATI's graphics partner Sapphire has released today Radeon HD 4870 TOXIC, an overclocked Radeon HD 4870 card with a custom cooling on it. What makes this card so special is the patented Vapor-X cooling system and its clock speeds higher than the reference boards. The cooling itself takes up two slots, makes use of a Vapour Chamber technology and features a thermally-controlled fan supported by three copper heatpipes. The new TOXIC model is also factory-overclocked to 780MHz GPU from 750MHz stock speed and 4000MHz memory from 3600MHz stock respectively. The card is equipped with 512MB GDDR5 memory. It offers 800 Stream Processors, has DirectX 10.1 and CrossFireX support, a PCI-Express 2.0 interface and two DVI connectors. Except that and maybe the fancy retail box it ships with, there's nothing else about this card that could interest you more. Pricing and availability are still unknown.

MSI Unveils its R4870-T2D1G Graphics Cards With 1 GB GDDR5 Memory

MSI, a leading manufacturer of computer products, proudly unveils its latest R4870-T2D1G graphics cards for the game enthusiasts. It comes with the 1G DDR5 memory which enables users to enjoy the DirectX 10 high-capacity 3D games easily and smoothly.

This high-end level graphics card is based on the latest 2nd generation of 55nm GPU. Integrated with the ATI PowerPlay power-saving technology, MSI R4870-T2D1G provides twice the performance enhancement with the same wattage. It conforms to the environmental energy conservation worldwide initiative with MSI (ECOlution) environmental protection theory of evolution objective. In addition, MSI R4870-T2D1G graphics card also has the advanced UVD 2.0 video decoder core, a built-in HDCP key encryption which supports Blu-Ray and HD DVD movie disc playback and make 100% complete hardware acceleration to the MPEG-2/VC-1/H.264 video format. MSI R4870-T2D512 supports the DirectX 10.1 framework of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and offers 800 stream processors, which achieve the unprecedented levels teraflop (1000Gflops) computing capability. MSI R4870-T2D1G graphics card supports CrossFireX technology. Combined with CrossFire ready mainboard to enable 2~4 graphics cards to work at the same time; substantially enhancing gaming performance.

PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 PCS OC Emerges

PowerColor is preparing an overclocked Radeon HD4870, the PCS (Professional Cooling System) model. This model uses 1 GB of GDDR5 memory and uses overclocked parameters, such as 800 MHz core. This card comes with a cooler made by Zerotherm comprising of heatpipes conducting to aluminum fins on either sides of a fan. According to TG Daily, this card could be based on the SuperRV770 concept, where high-performing parts are used along with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory. According to PowerColor, this cooler could keep the temperatures down by up to 20° C versus reference ATI cooler even at the overclocked 800 MHz core setting.

R700 up to 80 % Faster than GeForce GTX 280

Pre-release performance evaluations suggest that the Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB GDDR5 model will on an average be 50% faster than the GeForce GTX 280 and in some tests 80% faster. A second model, the HD 4850 X2 (2GB GDDR3 memory, 2x RV770Pro) will also convincingly outperform the GeForce GTX 280. The R700 series will be brought into the market late-July thru August.

NVIDIA Plans to Nuke R700

NVIDIA Plans to Nuke R700?

Let's face it, the ATI RV770 and its derivatives have become a rage. Everybody loves this chip and wants a card based on this, be it the card that made NVIDIA slash their prices, the HD4850 or the HD4870 which rivals the GeForce GTX 260 at a decent price. In surveys conducted by several websites, be it TweakTown or Hexus.net, majority community members chose ATI as a brand over NVIDIA, rougly indicating that the HD4000 series has done an excellent repair job with ATI and its brand value.

Nothing (exciting) is going NVIDIA's way these days, their notebook graphics division has taken a beating over the recent faulty parts issue. The NVDA stock is a little volatile at the stock market these days, after the company announced it predicts weaker earnings this quarter financial year. Here's something to ponder: If NVIDIA predicts weaker earnings, how come talks are they have something to counter the R700, which AMD already made statements about, saying it will "overwhelm the GeForce GTX 280"?

R700 to Come in 2048MB Flavour?

Although unreliable sources have been pointing out to the possibility that The Radeon HD 4870 X2 (R700) could come in a 2GB variant for a while now, we now get reports from even the Taiwanese industry observer, DigiTimes that the R700 in fact could come in a 2048 MB GDDR5 flavour. Similar reports have also been sourced from the likes of HKEPC and ChipHell. Current products such as the Radeon HD 4870 come equipped with "IDGV51-05A1F1C-40X" 512 Mbit GDDR5 chips made by Qimonda, the cards feature 8 such chips. It's already known that the R700 comes with a total of 16 memory chips, 8 on each side of the PCB, Qimonda readies its 1 Gbit memory chips slated for a July, 2008 release, Hyundai/Hynix already have their parts in the making.

Expect this product to launch by late August.With inputs from DigiTimes

NVIDIA Roadmap Suggests DirectX 10.1 GPU in Q4 2008, GDDR5 in 2008

TG Daily stumbled across roadmap information of NVIDIA which provides certain details of the green giant's DirectX 10.1 implementation plans. Currently, ATI and S3 Graphics make graphics processors (GPU) compliant to DirectX 10.1 specifications. In a presentation slide, are seen plans of NVIDIA coming up with a brand new fleet of mobile (notebook) DirectX 10.1 graphics processors slated for spring 2009 and desktop GPUs either for late Q4 2008 or early 2009 with a possible ramp throughout Q1 and Q2 of 2009.

This gives competitors at least a 6-month time advantage in which they could build developer relations and aid development of games based on the DirectX 10.1 API since it's now certain that the API is going to become an industry-wide standard, with the biggest player in the discrete-graphics industry having plans to embrace it.

The second revelation that slide brings up is that NVIDIA will implement GDDR5 memory with its upcoming products within 2008.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 1GB GDDR5 Nude Shots

I spotted some new nude shots of the upcoming ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card today and decided to share them with you. Little is known about the card's specs at the time, but what's apparent from the pics is the black PCB, the two 55nm-built RV770 GPUs and the PLX PCI-Express 2.0 bridge chip situated between the GPUs. On both sides of the PCB there are 16 Qimonda GDDR5 chips for a total of 1GB video memory. Also one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E connectors will be needed for proper operation.

Qimonda Wins AMD as Partner for Launch of New Graphics Standard GDDR5

Qimonda AG, a leading manufacturer of memory products, today announced that the company has won AMD as launch partner for the new graphics standard GDDR5. Qimonda already started mass production and the volume shipping of GDDR5 512Mbit components with a speed of 4.0Gbps to AMD, a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets.

Qimonda Ready with GDDR5 Memory Chips

Qimonda first began sampling 512Mb GDDR5 memory chips in November 2007 and now, six months after, the memory manufacturer claims to have the parts ready to roll. "Qimonda was the first to announce samples of GDDR5 back in November 2007. We have proven the technology and we can deliver in volume production to the market today," said Glen Haley, communications director of Qimonda in North America, in an interview with X-bit labs web-site. Currently Qimonda has GDDR5 parts that will run at 3.60GHz, 4.0GHz and 4.50GHz clock-speeds and use PG-TFBGA-170 packages. They will boast the maximum available data transfer rate up to 20GB/s, as compared to 16GB/s for the previous GDDR4 generation. GDDR5 chips are also projected to play a substantial role in the next round of war between leading graphics manufacturers. Reports claim that the latest AMD/ATI 4-series Radeon video cards will make use of GDDR5. Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics are also expected to make available their own GDDR5 memory chips soon.

Report: GDDR Price About to Rise

DigiTimes today reported that prices of DRAM parts may rise, citing sources at Taiwan IC distributors.
Some DRAM makers have started allotting more capacity for commodity DRAM, especially SO-DIMMs for notebooks, the sources said. Capacity for GDDR has started to strain amid the strategic capacity allocation, they noted. As DRAM makers are expected to reserve capacity priority for commodity DRAM for 1-2 quarters, a price revision for GDDR is thus likely, they said. The sources indicated that a price hike is likely to be seen from the second half of May, as some system makers are expected to completely digest their inventory by then.
Let's hope this won't give occasion for ATI and NVIDIA for just another delay or price bump. Both companies are set to launch their next-generation graphics cards over the coming months. The latest ATI Radeon HD 4 series cards will use both GDDR3 and GDDR5 memory parts.
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