ATI expects to begin volume shipments of its 90nm GPUs, the R520, R530 and RV515, in the middle of the third quarter, as unspecified issues for manufacturing on 90nm technology will soon be solved.
ATI also plans to introduce another flagship chip, the R580, in early 2006.
The delay of the ATI R520 has allowed Nvidia to gain some orders on the high end of the market, as the company announced the availability of its flagship GeForce 7800 GTX (G70) in June.
The upcoming launch of ATI?s three 90nm graphics chips is expected to boost overall 90nm output from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), industry sources suggested. Although less than 4% of TSMC?s sales came from 90nm technology in the second quarter of 2005, the percentage should grow to more than 10% by the fourth quarter, according to Rick Tsai, CEO of TSMC.
ATI will also soon enter the tape-out stage of its flagship R580, an upgrade of the R520, according to the sources.
The launch of ATI?s 90nm chips will accelerate the migration from AGP8X to PCI Express (PCIe), as falling prices for PCIe-capable products will stimulate demand, graphics-card makers commented. The PCIe segment is expected to account for half of graphics-card shipments by the end of this year, though the AGP8X segment should continue to dominate the entry-level segment through the middle of 2006, according to the makers.