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News of the day

  • The first 40 nm mobile GPUs from AMD
  • New GeForce M models
  • Phenom II X4 955 and Phenom II X2
  • Cut in the price of the Radeon HD 4800
  • TSMC and Intel together for the Atom
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     The first 40 nm mobile GPUs from AMD
      Posted on 03/03/2009 at 16:17 by Damien
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    To everyone’s surpise, AMD has just announced its first GPUs engraved at 40 nm, for the opening of CeBIT. These GPUs, which will be available as of next month, reuse Radeon HD 4000 architecture and a more advanced manufacturing technology which will mean a reduced cost and reduced energy consumption.

    This new GPU is known under the code name RV740 and will be sold as the Mobility Radeon HD 4800. This RV740 is not however designed to replace all the Radeon HD 4800s as we are talking about a GPU with less calculation units and a reduced memory bus. On desktop PCs it is likely to be sold under the name Radeon HD 4700 although it would be a good replacement for the Radeon HD 4830 which is non other than a castrated Radeon HD 4850.

    For the mobile, AMD has opted for 2 variants, the Mobility Radeon 4860 and 4830. Although the jury’s not out yet on the name for the desktop, it does have a good enough spec as it uses GDDR5 memory which compensates for the memory bus being reduced to 128 bits. It is difficult however to predict what performance it will actually give and if the Mobility Radeon HD 4860 will really be better than the HD 4850.

    Note that the spec for the Mobility Radeon HD 4830 leaves quite a margin in terms of clocks, which allows laptop manufacturers to adapt energy consumption to the available thermal envelope but leads to variable performance according to the choices made.

    Whatever the case may be, both these GPUs should give a good performance / energy consumption ratio. With this announcement, AMD is again able to thumb its nose at NVIDIA who are still having trouble selling their new GPUs and seem to have entered an eternal renaming spiral…

     New GeForce M models
      Posted on 03/03/2009 at 16:10 by Damien
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    As expected, NVIDIA has just unveiled a new range of mobile GPUs, or rather extended the new range introduced at CES. If you remember, these weren’t actually new GPUs but rather old products renamed. The same goes for the GPUs announced today and which take their place at the top end of the range.

    NVIDIA has, then, introduced the GeForce GTX 280M, GTX 260M, GTS 160M and GTS 150M. A mobile version of the GeForce GTX 280! How has NVIDIA managed such a feat, given the high energy consumption of the GT200, that the card is based on. Simply by replacing it with a G92! In other words, NVIDIA has renamed a GeForce 9800 GTX (under-clocked) as a GeForce GTX 280M. Obviously there’ll be plenty a buyer who will mix it up with the GeForce GTX 280, though the GTX 280 has a GPU that is 2 times as complex! NVIDIA seem not to have many scruples when it comes to tricking the consumer into buying a product…

    The GeForce GTX 260M is, for its part a renamed GeForce 9800M GTX, with higher clocks. The GeForce GTS 160M is a renamed GeForce 9800M GTS and keeps the same clocks. As for the GeForce GTS 150M it is a GeForce 9800M GS with significantly reduced clocks (to the order of 30%).

    All these name changes and endless series of products of the same GPU does take away your enthusiasm for these new products, especially as NVIDIA is obviously trying to trick the consumer. Now, lets move on to a few details announced by NVIDIA such as “Among the new GPUs is the GeForce® GTX 280M, a GPU for the fastest laptop PCs on the planet, giving performance that is 50% up on the previous generation” . Apart from the fact that it will probably not give as good a performance as the Mobility Radeon HD 4870, the best that the GeForce GTX 280M can be expected to give is a gain of 33% on the GeForce 9800M GTX that it replaces.

    Fortunately for NVIDIA and unfortunately for the consumer, a little bit (or even a lot) or marketing seems to be enough to convince laptop manufacturers.

     Phenom II X4 955 and Phenom II X2
      Posted on 03/03/2009 at 12:22 by Marc
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    According to HKEPC, AMD has cancelled the Phenom II X4 950 … to replace it with the Phenom II X4 955! Clocked at 3.2 GHz instead of 3.1 GHz, this new AM3 format model with a TDP of 125w could see the light of day as of April.

    We should also see the Phenom II X2 in May, a surprise as up till now we expected the Athlon X2s. They are still planned but will now be without an L3 cache, while the Phenom II X2s will have 7 MB and be clocked at 3.1 and 3.0 GHz (X2 550 and X2 545).

    Still if AMD eventually gets the Phenom II X4, X3 and X2 on stream as well as the Athlon X4, X3 and X2, with different clocks for each, we will no doubt get pretty mixed up…AMD too!

     Cut in the price of the Radeon HD 4800
      Posted on 03/03/2009 at 09:01 by Marc
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    According to DailyTech, AMD is set to cut the price of its Radeon HD 4800 over the next few days. The Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) looks set to drop $50 to $149 while the HD 4850 will reportedly be cut to $129. This price cut comes just as NVIDIA renames its GeForce 9800 GTX+ as the GeForce GTS 250 and in time for the arrival of the the Radeon 4890, a boosted version of the 4870, in April.

     TSMC and Intel together for the Atom
      Posted on 03/03/2009 at 08:48 by Marc
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    Intel and TSMC have signed an agreement to outsource production of Atom processors to TSMC. Under the terms of the agreement, Intel will port its Atom processor to TSMC’s manufacturing process which will give Intel clients more choice in terms of manufacture and use of Atom based SoCs.

    Unlike other chip manufacturers Intel has always produced all of its own processors itself and this alliance marks quite a change. For the moment, the partnership is limited to Atoms and there has been no intimation that Intel will transfer production of more complex products.

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