ATI Technologies, next-generation visual processing units (VPUs) have passed validation process at PCI-SIG, the industry body that leads the development of PCI and PCI Express busses, which means that the chips already exist in the final revision and are production ready.
According to the current PCI Express Integrators List, ATI's R520, R520 GL, RV515 XT and RV530 XT chips for desktops have successfully passed validation procedures. Additionally, the list indicates that there are new mobile products from ATI Technologies, which are presumably based on the new R520 architecture and are made using the same manufacturing process, on the pipeline: M52GL, M54GL, M56 and M58, which are also officially PCI Express compliant.
This PCI-SIG Integrators List includes all products that have a complete and satisfactory PCI Compliance Checklist on file at PCI-SIG, have passed the test criteria set forth at the PCI Compliance Workshops and are production ready.
According to executives of ATI Technologies, the R520, R520 GL, RV515 are to be made using 90nm process technology at TSMC. The company said during the most-recent conference call that it did not expect to ship its new generation product family for revenue before August, 2005. Given that the chips were production ready by the 25th of July, 2005, when the PCI-SIG Integrators List was last updated, graphics cards makers may receive final VPUs sometime in August. "In the case of the R520 we have seen some delay. Particularly, we need to deal with a new technology at the high-end. It's a combination of both architectural and [process] technology bring up. We have this well under control now. As Patrick described, we've taken a cautious position to not to consider revenues in our Q4 for our 90nm line," said David Orton, the CEO of ATI, during the conference-call.
ATI code-named R5-series of VPUs is projected to support Shader Model 3.0 and other innovations, which requires a totally new graphics architecture from ATI. Still, general specifications of ATI's R520 as well as its derivative VPUs are unclear at this time.