XWI, whose current graphic card generation didn’t meet users’ requirements, is preparing its next move, but this time objectives have changed and targets have been reduced to a more realistic level. XGI leaves the high end and partly the middle range segment to focus on entry level products. Competing with ATI and NVIDIA for high end products isn’t possible for XGI and the last attempt with the Volari Duo confirmed this situation.
Entry level products, even if they are less glorifying in terms of image than high end products, are clearly more accessible and XGI has the intention to release a products which will take some market shares. This product (code name XG47) denomination will be Volari 8300 and will compete directly with the GeForce 6200 TurboCache and other Radeon X300 HyperMemory. The architecture has been changed completely compared to previous XGI products to improve the efficiency. This point will of course have to be verified. The GPU supports the Shader 2.0, features 4 pipelines with two able to process pixel shaders, is able to calculate Z data at double speed and supports the eXtreme Cache which is as you probably have already understood the equivalent to the TurboCache and HyperMemory. XGI has pushed, however, the concept even further. It is possible here not to include any memory chips and only use memory allocated to the eXtreme Cache. 16/32/64 Mo 32 bits and 64/128 Mo 64 bits versions will also be available. They will be clocked ideally at 300/350 MHz. These graphic cards will be available within a couple of months. There is still though a lot of work to do as the demonstration product was only a prototype far from the final version. Driver are also only 2D compatible for the moment.
Just after this product in the beginning of summer, XGI will release the XG45. This more efficient chip will feature twice as more pixel pipelines and will support shader 3.0 renamed for this occasion TrueShader 3.0. The bus memory will be of 64 or 128 bits and will support from 64 to 256 MB. The most efficient model will be clocked at 450 MHz for the GPU and memory instead of 400 MHz and 275 MHz for the next product. According to XGI, the first graphic card will provide performances between the X700 Pro and the 6600 GT.
These 2 GPU will also be available in mobile version… to the MXM Type I format for the XG47 (also named XP10 for mobile version) and type III for the XG45. The XG47/XP10 will also be available to a specific format for a major laptop manufacturer.
XGI mentioned the future roadmap with end 2005 / early 2006 the XG50 which specifications are identical to the XG45 but with a new architecture and the XG60 end of 2006 which will feature the WGF 2.0 ("DX 10") compatibility. XG51 and XG61 versions with half of the pipelines number and the eXtreme Cache compatibility will also be released.
Let’s hope for XGI that these products will be up to their expectations and released on time...