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Old 08-22-02, 03:36 PM   #25
DadGT
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I am yet again amazed at people's belief that moving from .15 to .13 um is a reasonably simple change. If AMD had problems and had to significantly revise the athlon from one layout .13 um to another to get speeds up, do you really think ATI can just reuse the current R300 chip design? No, they will have to alter many thing because things like cross talk and stray capacitence change when switching sizes. It won't be worth it. Not with the product lifetimes we are now seeing.

And who really thinks nVidia, after having problems switching to .13 um will help ATI solve any of their problems? That's like saying Intel will help AMD get the .09 um hammers out the door next year. Any help they get for not being first to .13 um will be from TMSC. But TMSC builds the patterns they are given. Things like cross talk between the transistors is an ATI design issue that TMSC can give only limited help on.

Oh, and my source for AMD having two design revisions for the .13 um Athlons was the HardOCP review of the 2400+ and 2600+ CPUs.
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Old 08-22-02, 03:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by DadGT
I am yet again amazed at people's belief that moving from .15 to .13 um is a reasonably simple change. If AMD had problems and had to significantly revise the athlon from one layout .13 um to another to get speeds up, do you really think ATI can just reuse the current R300 chip design? No, they will have to alter many thing because things like cross talk and stray capacitence change when switching sizes. It won't be worth it. Not with the product lifetimes we are now seeing.

And who really thinks nVidia, after having problems switching to .13 um will help ATI solve any of their problems? That's like saying Intel will help AMD get the .09 um hammers out the door next year. Any help they get for not being first to .13 um will be from TMSC. But TMSC builds the patterns they are given. Things like cross talk between the transistors is an ATI design issue that TMSC can give only limited help on.

Oh, and my source for AMD having two design revisions for the .13 um Athlons was the HardOCP review of the 2400+ and 2600+ CPUs.
No one said it would be easy. However, it would be easier than creating a new design on a new process, like I said earlier. Again, the fab's tools will have improved, bugs ironed out, the process refined, etc. Will it be easier for Nvidia to tweak their NV30 architecture and put out a refresh on .13u? Absolutely. But, again, since they're already on that process they better have a good lead on ATi.

And your Athlon analogy isn't exactly accurate, since that's the case of a company taking the same core and moving it from process to process over years, with minor improvements (aside from clock speed) added. Look at the P3 core. . .it eventually reached its 'life expectancy' at .18u and couldn't be moved beyond 1.2Ghz. We're talking new chips here.
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Old 08-22-02, 06:40 PM   #27
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I think one area most ppl looked over happened late last year when ATi signed that cross licensing agreement with Intel.

I get the strangest sense that Intel has helped ATi considerably in the package design for the R300 and will be lending a hand with its knowledge of the switch to .13 and to .09 (which they are just about to do themselves).

The agreement involved technologies, and not just the P4 bus.
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Old 08-22-02, 09:11 PM   #28
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Sounds like the GF3 Ti's to me. Released in November, with the GF4's coming out roughly 5 months later.
how many people couldn't overclock their GF3's the ti500 levels though..the RAM on both cards had the exact same spec, except the GF3 classic's RAM was "underclocked."
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Old 08-22-02, 10:22 PM   #29
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I don't think the R300 hitting 400mhz is that impressive. I mean, as stated in the quote, the chip is HUGE!

Nvidia probably could have taken the GF4 core just as far if they added more transistors and made the chip bigger.

But with .13 micron technology, they have many options to choose from. They could keep a very small core and pack quite a few transistors in while still keeping decent temps, or they could make a bigger core with a ton more transistors and great temp performance.

I do think nVidia had best be putting out there absolute best work, or else there could be some serious repercussions. This ATI card is the best offering as far as competition is concerned that ATI has released to date, and as such must not be taken lightly by nVidia.

One nice thing about nVidia being on .13 microns to start out this generation, is that it will be much easier to release refreshes, while still beginning on a design for .09 microns.

Even if TSMC and UMC aren't capable of producing them, nVidia could still begin design on the schematics.
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