ATI's Richard Huddy talks X360's 'Xenos' GPU + forthcoming R600 GPU for PCs


A

AirRaid Mach 2.5

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/display/20060525104243.html


ATI Promotes Forthcoming DirectX 10 Graphics Chip.

ATI's R600 to Be the Fastest DirectX 9 Chip in History - ATI



by Anton Shilov

[ 05/25/2006 | 10:43 AM ]

ATI Technologies Thursday disclosed some of the details concerning the
code-named R600 graphics processing unit (GPU) and said the part will
not only support the new features and unified shader architecture, but
will also become the company's highest performing graphics chip when
it comes to wide-spread DirectX 9 applications.

R600 - DirectX 9 Champ

"The R600 will be [absolutely] the fastest DirectX 9 chip that we had
ever built," said Richard Huddy, the head of ATI Technologies'
software developers relations department, at a press conference in
London, UK.

Mr. Huddy was asked whether the R600's already well-known unified
shader architecture will suit well for the wide-spread DirectX 9 games,
which were developed with dedicated pixel and vertex processors in
mind. The answer implies that users, who will buy the R600-based
graphics cards early, will get top-class performance even in existing
applications.

Unified Shader Architecture May Boost Performance

Mr. Huddy said that Xbox 360 game console, which sports developed by
ATI Xenos graphics core with unified shader architecture and 48 shader
processors, loses 20% to 25% performance in pixel-shader limited games,
when its graphics chip is configured as non-unified, e.g.,16 processors
work strictly on vertex shaders, whereas 32 are assigned for pixel
shaders.

Microsoft Corp. pushes unified shader language for pixel, vertex and
geometry shaders in its Windows Vista graphics application programming
interface (API) - DirectX 10. As a result of that, graphics hardware
designers should deliver their chips with unified shader engines at
some point in future in order to more efficiently support the new API.
Unified shader processors allow graphics chip to configure itself
flexibly for every frame, which provides additional horsepower to the
most demanding part of the workload.

Traditional GPUs have dedicated pixel shader and vertex shader
processors. In cases, where a frame being rendered contains a lot of
geometry and just a few pixel shaders to determine colour, the
performance is limited by vertex shaders, while pixel processors are
standing idle. GPUs with unified shader processors will have special
scheduler inside them, which will determine the load from pixel, vertex
and geometry shaders and then assign appropriate number of processors
for every kind of work. This will allow to utilize all the computing
power of the GPU, believes ATI. Nevertheless, rival Nvidia Corp.
believes that implementation of a unified shader architecture should be
gradual and cautious.

R600 to Bring More Horsepower

Back in 2002 ATI also unveiled the world's first DirectX 9-supporting
GPU, which offered breakthrough performance in DirectX 8-based games,
mainly because it sported 8 pixel processors - two times more
compared to rival GeForce 4 Titanium - and 256-bit memory bus -
also about two times faster than that of the GeForce4 Ti.

The code-named R600 visual processing unit may repeat the success of
its grand-grand predecessor, as, according to sources familiar with the
plans of ATI Technologies as well as some media reports, ATI R600 will
have 64 unified shader processors - an unprecedented number so far,
16 texture units - inline with today's GPUs, clock-speed beyond
650MHz and support for high-speed GDDR4 memory controller. Rival Nvidia
G80 will have lower amount of shader processors and will also have
"hybrid", not unified, micro-architecture. Neither ATI, nor Nvidia
commented on specs of future products.

However, there may be a slight problem for ATI: Microsoft is not going
to release DirectX 10 API for Windows XP, but only for Windows Vista,
which may mean that ATI's R600 hardware will be able to show itself
in all its glory only when used in conjunction with Microsoft's new
operating system.
 
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F

First of One

DX10 needs Vista. Vista will be released "when it's done", which presumably
means it will be delayed further from its Q1 2007 target. After that, many
people still won't jump on the bandwagon until Vista SP2 ships. :) Even if
game support for DX10 becomes widespread (alienating all XP users in the
process) It'll be another 1-1.5 *years* before we start seeing any benefit
from the unified shader architecture, if there are any benefits at all.
 
X

Xflop Team

AirRaid Mach 2.5 wrote:

"The R600 will be [absolutely] the fastest DirectX 9 chip that we had
ever built,"

Which is different than
"ATI's R600 to Be the Fastest DirectX 9 Chip in History."
 
J

James Luff

First said:
DX10 needs Vista. Vista will be released "when it's done", which presumably
means it will be delayed further from its Q1 2007 target. After that, many
people still won't jump on the bandwagon until Vista SP2 ships. :) Even if
game support for DX10 becomes widespread (alienating all XP users in the
process) It'll be another 1-1.5 *years* before we start seeing any benefit
from the unified shader architecture, if there are any benefits at all.

Indeed, any DirectX 10 gfx cards released now are going to be a complete
waste of money in my opinion. Technology will improve hugely before any
games actually take advantage of DirectX 10 making anything you buy now
pretty much redundant.
 
Z

Zomoniac

Indeed, any DirectX 10 gfx cards released now are going to be a
complete waste of money in my opinion. Technology will improve hugely
before any games actually take advantage of DirectX 10 making anything
you buy now pretty much redundant.

Indeed. My comp's been playing up, I was going to give it a big
overhaul and upgrade but there's no point really. I'll stick it out and
watch it struggle for six months and then buy an uber-ace DX10 rig
fully Vista optimised.

--
Zo

GamerTag: Zomoniac (2006FWC, COD2, FCI:p, GRAW, NBA 06, PGR3, Kameo, RR6, TRL)
Last game completed: Guitar Hero (hard) (07/05/2006)
Playing: NBA Live 06 (360) / Listening: Lit - A Place In The Sun
 
C

Chris F

Indeed, any DirectX 10 gfx cards released now are going to be a complete
waste of money in my opinion. Technology will improve hugely before any
games actually take advantage of DirectX 10 making anything you buy now
pretty much redundant.

there'll still be idiots who spend £400 quid on one though, just
because its the latest thing out.
 
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M

mmaker

First said:
DX10 needs Vista.

Microsoft is apparently only going to release DX10 on Vista: that's
very different from claiming that DX10 _needs_ Vista and can't be
ported to XP.
Even if
game support for DX10 becomes widespread (alienating all XP users in the
process) It'll be another 1-1.5 *years* before we start seeing any benefit
from the unified shader architecture, if there are any benefits at all.

I'm sure that DX10 will have benefits, but no game company is going to
release a DX10-only game when the majority of gamers are on XP. This
whole thing seems crazy to me.

Mark
 
H

HockeyTownUSA

Microsoft is apparently only going to release DX10 on Vista: that's
very different from claiming that DX10 _needs_ Vista and can't be
ported to XP.


I'm sure that DX10 will have benefits, but no game company is going to
release a DX10-only game when the majority of gamers are on XP. This
whole thing seems crazy to me.

Mark

Exactly. I believe that DX10 will probably be ready before Vista. And if it
is compatible with WinXP then I wouldn't doubt that hardware vendors will be
banging on Microsoft's door to release it for WinXP so the hardware vendors
can sell Dx10 product. Regardless if that happens, then Microsoft will
probably release DX11 with Vista just to make it stand ou.
 
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J

JLC

HockeyTownUSA said:
Exactly. I believe that DX10 will probably be ready before Vista. And if
it is compatible with WinXP then I wouldn't doubt that hardware vendors
will be banging on Microsoft's door to release it for WinXP so the
hardware vendors can sell Dx10 product. Regardless if that happens, then
Microsoft will probably release DX11 with Vista just to make it stand ou.

You'll never see DX10 for XP. DX10 is not backward compatible with older
versions of DX. Also DX10 is basically what Vista is running on. It's a
major
part of the Vista OS. But the thing is that there's still a lot that DX 9
can do that still hasn't been fully exploited. JLC
 

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