As reported earlier, ATI is rumored to be at work on a new GPU currently known as the R420 (news). X-bit Labs has discovered some new rumors regarding this new graphics core.
Codenamed the "Loki" by internal development, the R420 is expected to be twice as fast as ATI's current Radeon 9800 Pro GPU (R350). It will feature 110 to 150 million transistors, and either 8 rendering pipelines with 2 texture modules per pipe, or 16 rendering pipelines (but with 1 texture module per pipe instead). The R420 will also support Pixel and Vertex Shaders 3.0.
However, some of the new details conflict with previous rumors. For example, the article mentions that the R420 will likely be manufactured using a 0.15-micron fabrication process, but The Inquirer is confident that it might a 0.13-micron GPU instead in a news byte here.
Additionally, it was previously reported that the R420 would feature a new architecture, but the X-bit report denies this, saying that it will indeed share the same design as the R350 and upcoming R360 (Radeon 9900 series?) GPUs. Only time will tell in discovering what really makes the R420 tick.
What hasn't changed is that the R420 is still to be announced on paper this Fall at the next Comdex industry trade show, with actual product and market availabilty expected sometime the first quarter next year. Again, the R420 will initially support both PCI Express and AGP platforms, with a "pure" PCI Express version possibly scheduled for the second half next year.
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