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AMD Juniper Early Specs Surface

Earlier talked about as being a mere speed bump over RV740 that probably locks horns with Radeon HD 4850 or even HD 4870 512 MB in terms of performance in today's applications, Juniper, codename for AMD's newer mainstream GPU that is looking to handle things under the $200 segment, is looking stronger than thought about before on paper, according to recent publication by Anandtech. Breaking away from the previous conception of a GPU with 800 stream processors, a 128-bit GDDR5 memory, and most other vital-stats resembling its ancestor, the report suggests something that's at least 75% as powerful as Cypress.

It is said to feature 14 SIMD blocks, which going by Cypress' architecture would imply 1120 stream processors (14 x 80 SPs). The report also hints at a stronger memory sub-system to keep up. Instead of a 128-bit wide interface, it hints at 192-bit, GDDR5 at that. This part doesn't seem convincing, as earlier pictures of the card showed it to be holding four memory chips on the reverse side of the PCB, with no fuses to show memory chips that aren't sharing memory channels. Accelerators with 192-bit wide memory interface, should have 6 or 12 memory chips typically. Other numbers include 56 texture memory units (TMUs), and 24 raster operation units (ROPs), if there is a 192-bit memory interface. Two accelerators based on the GPU, Radeon HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5750 should be out around the same time Windows 7 hits retail. Both target sub-$200 price points.

PowerColor Preparing First HD 4750 Accelerator

PowerColor is going to be one of the first to be out with a Radeon HD 4750 accelerator. Based on the same 40 nm RV740 graphics processor as the Radeon HD 4770, the HD 4750 features lower clock-speeds, and overclocking headroom, that lets it do away with the six-pin auxiliary power input, relying entirely on the PCI-Express slot. PowerColor's offering is based on its own PCB design, and sports an aluminum fan-heatsink made by Arctic Cooling. The same PCB,with the 6-pin power connector in place, went into making the recently announced PowerColor HD 4770 PCS, which sports the same cooler. The card makes use of a 3+1 phase power design, and loads 512 MB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit memory interface. From previous bits of information we gathered, the HD 4750 features clock speeds of 730 MHz (core), and memory at 800 MHz. Expect it to be priced in the $80 range.

HD 4860 Starts Shipping in Two Weeks, HD 4750 Follows

ATI surprised us last month, when sections of the Chinese media leaked information about Radeon HD 4860, a new SKU that intends to succeed Radeon HD 4850 in the $120~$130 segment. Fresh information suggests that the SKU indeed will see the light of the day, even outside China. Slated to ship from around August 18, the HD 4860 will substitute the HD 4850, which is handling the lower price segment of $90~$110. This only gives you an idea of how intense competition has become in the sub $150 graphics market.

Another bit of information surfacing is about the Radeon HD 4750. Even as the Radeon HD 4770 is suffering stock shortages around the world, ATI seems to be going ahead with the HD 4750, a graphics card based on the 40 nm RV740 GPU. The HD 4750 has similar specifications to the HD 4770. It even sports GDDR5 memory. The RV740 core runs at 730 MHz, and its memory at 800 MHz (3200 MHz effective). While the memory clock speed is identical to that of the HD 4770, the core is clocked slightly lower. Overall, the card won't have as much overclocking headroom as the HD 4770, because it will not draw power from a 6-pin power connector. The design ensures existing low-performing raw materials are utilized more effectively. The HD 4750 is expected to be priced at $88 initially. The first batch of these cards will be very small, quantity-wise.

At Least 30% of NVIDIA GPU Shipments on TSMC 40 nm Process by End of 2009

Nearly a month since AMD's introduction of the 40 nm RV740 GPU, there is still no concrete sign of a 40 nm GPU from NVIDIA slated for anytime soon, apart from timely scoops on the GT300. Sources at graphics card vendors however seem confident that by the end of 2009, 40 nm GPUs will constitute at least 30% of NVIDIA's GPU shipments, that too sourced from TSMC, a foundry-partner which has been in the news off late, for technical problems with their 40 nm node, that are affecting its output efficiency.

What's more, NVIDIA seems to have expressed interest in becoming one of the first clients for TSMC's upcoming 28 nm process that is expected to become a reality in Q1 2010. This should also tell you that for GPUs, the next step for silicon fabrication technology will be 28 nm, unlike 32 nm for CPUs.

Radeon HD 4770 Released, Industry's First 40 nm GPU

AMD today released the ATI Radeon HD 4770 graphics card. The release marks several milestones for the company, mainly winning the race for the first GPU to be built on the 40 nm process, and the introduction second-generation GDDR5 memory for the mainstream consumer segment.

The brains of this card is the 40 nm AMD RV740 GPU. Its specifications include 640 stream processors that churn out over 900 GFLOPs of shader compute power, 32 texture memory units, and 16 render back-ends. The GPU is aided by 512 MB of fast GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide interface. This provides the same amount of bandwidth as 256-bit GDDR3 commonly found in most graphics card in the range. The card is DirectX 10.1 compliant, and supports the ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU standard.

The card has been launched worldwide, with its initial US price set at $109, and an optional rebate that can send its price further down. In its range, it competes with NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT, and AMD's own Radeon HD 4830. TechPowerUp is one of the first technology portals to publish a thorough review of the Radeon HD 4770. Our review can be read here.

HIS Radeon HD 4770 Makes Early Appearance

AMD's newest line of desktop graphics cards in the making, Radeon HD 4700, will be launched in weeks to come. The Radeon HD 4770 model in particular, is the company's move to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GT, while at some highly competitive price-points. Earlier in February, a sample made its way to Guru3D, which revealed quite a bit about the SKU. It looks like AMD's partners, at least HIS, is ready with its HD 4770 card, according to a press-shot leaked by Chinese website ITOCP.

The pictures show the card to feature a PCB visibly identical to the reference PCB candidate spotted on the Guru3D sample, while featuring a company-designed cooler. The cooler consists of a GPU block from which metal fins project radially, on which a fan is present, decked with a fancy shroud. Also pictured are the box design, and package contents. The common features of the Radeon HD 4770 are known to be: 40 nm RV740 GPU, 640 stream processors, 128-bit GDDR5 memory interface, and CrossFireX support. This card features 512 MB of memory. The price of this card is not known, though AMD reportedly set a US $99 target SEP price for the Radeon HD 4770.

Radeon HD 4770 Pictured, Slated for May

AMD may be inches close to launching its high-end Radeon HD 4890 accelerator, but in its shadows, an equally exciting product-line is taking shape: the Radeon HD 4700 series, which AMD refers to as "A new paradigm of performance and price", rightly so, with the new 40 nm process the RV740 GPU is built on, and the performance that looks to put it on top of its class. published a few slides from a recent presentation AMD carried on, for its upcoming Radeon HD 4700 series. The most relevant slides reveal a lot about the Radeon HD 4770, the flagship product based on the RV740. The card design that has surfaced, reveals a cooler design similar to that of the Radeon HD 3870, except for a different colour-scheme and printed graphics. The card features 512 MB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit memory interface, which ideally churns out the same amount of bandwidth as 256-bit GDDR3, while consuming lesser power (due to lesser number of chips on the board). A slide also reveals a crucial bit about the pricing strategy AMD is planning to adopt, which shows the Radeon HD 4770 to be priced at US $99 (target SEP prices). From AMD's own ratings, the card should offer higher performance per watt and performance per dollar (in terms of rated compute power) than NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT. You can also work out from the figures that the card consumes 80 W of power. The card is slated for a May 4 launch.

Radeon HD 4750 Gets First Listing

With all the attention the RV790 (Radeon HD 4890) is grabbing as it heads for launch, we almost seem to forget its smaller sibling, the RV740 (Radeon HD 4750) is also in the works. What makes the special, is the fact that it is the industry's first GPU to be built on the 40 nm silicon fabrication process.

A preview of this desktop card surfaced late last month, which showed its performance to sit somewhere between those of the Radeon HD 4830, and HD 4850. With this the company plans to step up the heat against NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT, and is adequately equipped to bear the brunt of a price-war, thanks to the lower manufacturing costs this card brings. German retailer Hardware has added the first listing of the card, which shows its price set at 129.90 €.

Radeon HD 4750 Previewed, Performs Closer to HD 4850

An unexpected visitor to'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.

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.

Radeon HD 4770 Sets Sights on GeForce GTS 240

ATI, as part of its initial plans with the 40 nm manufacturing technology is preparing the RV740 graphics processor, the company's next mid-range workhorse graphics processor. The new manufacturing process lets AMD respect the price-constraints of that market segment, and accordingly price its SKUs. VR-Zone sourced a few more details about the GPU.

While it is already known that the RV740 goes into making the Radeon HD 4700 series, it is now rumored that its two variants will be termed HD 4770 and HD 4750, and not HD 4750 and HD 4730, as reported earlier. The HD 4770 SKU will be distinct in being the first mainstream graphics card with GDDR5 memory. It will use its 128-bit wide bus to accommodate 512 MB of memory. The HD 4750 on the other hand, will stick to GDDR3. The reference model may have 1GB of it. HD 4770 is expected to be priced around the US $120 mark, making it a head-on competitor to the GeForce GTS 240, which is known to be a re-badged GeForce 8800/9800GT with higher reference clock-speeds. The HD 4750 has GeForce 9600 GT in its sights, with its expected initial pricing ranging around the $100 mark. The two are expected to follow the RV790 launch, and will arrive in May, close to two months after the GeForce GTS 240 comes to be.

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.

RV790 Makes Radeon HD 4900 Series, Led by HD 4995 X2?

After RV740, the next AMD venture on the 40nm silicon process will be the company's next flagship GPU: the RV790. With this core AMD hopes to reclaim the performance and value crowns, more importantly, energy efficiency the newer fab process hopes to bring to the current-generation GPU.

Quite obviously, AMD will assign new SKUs to the products based on the RV790. The safest guess would be the formation of a new sub-series under Radeon 4000, the Radeon HD 4900 series. German website ATi Forum has learned that indeed AMD planning on a new sub-series based on the new GPU, following scoops on RV740 making the Radeon HD 4700 series. Once again, AMD might create two products based on a single GPU and one flagship dual-GPU accelerator, to begin with. The company's lackluster optimism in the R700 Pro (Radeon HD 4850 X2), has shown on the upcoming series with no mention of a second-inline dual GPU accelerator. In ATi Forum's theory, the RV790XT gets HD 4970, RV790Pro gets HD 4950 and the dual-GPU flagship SKU could be named Radeon HD 4995 X2. Talk about competitive naming.

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 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).

AMD's Response to G200b Slated for March

NVIDIA snatched the performance crown from ATI with the introduction of the GeForce GTX 295 accelerator, and its launch itinerary for CES 2009 includes the GeForce 285, NVIDIA's second fastest graphics accelerator. NVIDIA's campaign to regain the performance crown was spearheaded by the G200b graphics processor, that, while not offering anything new, helped cut manufacturing costs and reduced the thermal envelope of the GPU, making conditions favourable for a dual-GPU accelerator, the GeForce GTX 295.

AMD on the other hand, has announced price-cuts to respond to the GeForce GTX 295, by lowering the prices of its Radeon HD 4870 X2 accelerator. The G200b is likely to get a competitor from AMD by March, when the company is looking to release the industry's first GPU built on the 40nm manufacturing process, the RV740. But wait, there seems to be something larger on the cards, according to the various sources Hardware-Infos got in touch with. AMD is planning the RV790 graphics processor. It will be a current-generation GPU built on the next generation 40nm manufacturing technology. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the RV790's specifications, with some of the more plausible ones hinting it has two additional SIMD clusters (960 SPs) and a total 48 texture memory units (TMUs). Both the RV740 and RV790 are slated for March, there's also a little indication of AMD using the occasion of CeBIT for its announcements and product launches.

NVIDIA GT216 Specifications Trickle-In

The AMD RV740 has been gaining quite some attention lately. Following news of it being the first GPU to be built on the 40nm manufacturing process, there is some information trickling in about NVIDIA's offering to combat it. The GT216, unlike what most speculations talked about being a next generation high-end GPU, is supposed to be a mainstream GPU whose specifications make it a rival to the AMD RV740. This, according to specifications of the said GPU emerging from Beyond3D, part of which they are sure of, part speculation.

For starters, the GT216 will be built on the 40nm manufacturing process. It will feature a 192-bit wide GDDR3 memory bus. Graphics cards built on this would feature 768 MB of memory (with possible OEM variants having just 384 MB). The memory is clocked at 1200 MHz (2400 MHz DDR). There is speculation linked to the rest of the specs at this point in time, notably that it might have 7 ALU clusters (168 SPs). The manufacturing process will make sure the GPU is cost-effective. With this, the next round of mainstream GPU competition sounds even more exciting.

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.

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.
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