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ATI Tapes Out 6000-Series Graphics Cards

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Image courtesy: AMD Corp.

Image courtesy: AMD Corp.

UPDATE 10/19/10: Catch our latest 6000 series news here, and on the frontpage in the next few days.

In late 2009, ATI launched the 5000-series of graphics card. The series was very successful despite some supply issues. Nvidia had nothing to offer to counter AMD’s graphics departement at the time and took just over six months to roll out its 400-series, with the GTX480 and GTX470 beginning to sell on April 12th. News has now came that ATI has taped out its new products based on the Southern Islands architecture.

Southern Islands has been known to exist for the past three weeks. It is believed to be a hybrid architecture featuring the shaders of the Evergreen architecture, found in the 5000-series, along with the uncore of the next full generation design, dubbed Northern Islands. Website Semiaccurate reports the new design taped out and is now ready for production. As no manufacturer has a new process to offer, there is no doubt now that the new graphics processing units will be manufactured on 40nm process, the same as the 5000-series of cards. Production is expected to start at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company within the next few weeks.

The news come at a very bad time for Nvidia and could spell disaster for the green team. Southern Islands tape out arrives just a few weeks later in the year than what Evergreen did last year. If it executes like it did with the 5000-series, ATI is looking at a possible release of a full new generation of products before Nvidia rolls out their current one, putting the green guys a full cycle behind and effectively out of the game. 6000-series cards can be expected in Q4 2010.

Source: Semiaccurate

dostov

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Discussion
  1. If there is one place to get the scoop on ATI, Charlie and SA seem to be it...
    Anyhoo, interesting article, looks like the the tide has finally changed. Nvidia needs to get back into the game with a more attractive card (less power, heat, and a little less expensive).
    Remember though, ATI was in this same position for a couple of gen's with the HD2900 and the 3870... Nvidia is due for bottoming out and bouncing back.
    watchthisspace
    Would be nice if the competition was intense enough for some nice price drops! But nevertheless this is good news for ATi.

    I agree. In the past few years, you could always count on ATI to bring Nvidia's prices down. Right now, ATI has the whole DX11 market and Nvidia has nothing to compete on the price front... so ATI can sell at the price they want. At this pace, the only thing bringing the 5000-series prices down will be the 6000-series launch... :screwy:
    I wouldn't be surprised if 5000-series ends up being the most profitable series of ATI cards in years! Hopefully Nvidia will have something to compete by the end of the year and prices will be more interesting for consumers.
    Cheers! :)
    dostov
    I agree. In the past few years, you could always count on ATI to bring Nvidia's prices down. Right now, ATI has the whole DX11 market and Nvidia has nothing to compete on the price front... so ATI can sell at the price they want. At this pace, the only thing bringing the 5000-series prices down will be the 6000-series launch... :screwy:
    I wouldn't be surprised if 5000-series ends up being the most profitable series of ATI cards in years! Hopefully Nvidia will have something to compete by the end of the year and prices will be more interesting for consumers.
    Cheers! :)

    Hardly ATI's fault though when you consider the 5870 is as fast as the GTX295, has DX11 and uses a lot less power with a lower price to boot. 3bn transistors on a less than perfect process is just too expensive, even a die shrink isn't going to make that go away, Nvidia's design is just horribly inefficient for games.
    I enjoy the competition. I bounce back between Ati/Nvidia every 2-3 generations of chips. I root for both companies even though I tend to be a little bit more of a fan for one of them.
    Good read I'm going to be switching over to ATi soon my self because I can get sound through the HDMI interface and not have my crappy headphones for sound. I think I'll hold out for maybe the 6770 if it's going to be named that but 5770 prices may drop to a reasonable spot.
    Is keeping an eye on this :sly:
    Well I guess this gives me a reason to wait and save up. Hopefully though the 5k series will drop a bit in price once the 6k cards come out late this year / early next year and maybe they won't be out of stock so fast...
    ATI has not even hinted new series, so I would speculate anywhere between 6 and 12 month , it will all mainly relay on competition , which has been lacking.ATi has gained 8% share in discrete graphics in the first quarter, which is huge.
    Also I don't anticipate a price drop, but am not an analyst.
    News has now came that ATI has taped out its new products based on the Southern Islands architecture.

    News has now come that ATI has taped out its new products based on the Southern Islands architecture.
    Website Semiaccurate reports the new design taped out and is now ready for production.

    Website Semiaccurate reports the new design is taped out and is ready for production.

    I am very excited for this new generation. I still have yet to adopt a 5000 series card (but i really want to). I kinda wana wait now to see how the 6000 series compares though even if it means waiting.
    col_sanders
    News has now come that ATI has taped out its new products based on the Southern Islands architecture.
    Website Semiaccurate reports the new design is taped out and is ready for production.

    I am very excited for this new generation. I still have yet to adopt a 5000 series card (but i really want to). I kinda wana wait now to see how the 6000 series compares though even if it means waiting.

    I would wait seriously ATi have been on the game for a few years now while nVidia have just well not released anything as good least it's 1 part of AMD thats doing well. I just ordered a new GPU cooler for my 9600GT as I am getting back into gaming and the stock fan is annoying the hell out of me but I was going to order the 5770 but now I'll wait the 9600GT will crush my games I have as there slightly old but Uk temps are warming up and just bought some new fans for my case.
    hmm if this is the case i am glad i didnt dump big bucks on on a big 5 series card and got the 5770 instead.
    of course theres still a huge possibility that these come out and they arent all that great, brisbanes and phenoms any one?
    i know a different product but AMD just seems to be a target for new products that dont work up to par
    mattspalace
    My guess is we'll see a 5-series refresh/update in June/July (at best), and won't see the 6-series until October/November

    The 5000 series refresh could be the 6000 series. It seems unlikely ATI would spend the cash to revise the 5000 series architecture when that is essentially what the 6000 series is supposed to be.
    If ATI wants to keep the ball rolling they would have to release the 6000 series by September the latest (as a temporary series as such) and the proper Northern Islands in February/March time. It should think like Intel and compete against itself and not let the competition gain momentum or time to fine tune its offerings.
    Neural Net
    The 5000 series refresh could be the 6000 series. It seems unlikely ATI would spend the cash to revise the 5000 series architecture when that is essentially what the 6000 series is supposed to be.
    If ATI wants to keep the ball rolling they would have to release the 6000 series by September the latest (as a temporary series as such) and the proper Northern Islands in February/March time. It should think like Intel and compete against itself and not let the competition gain momentum or time to fine tune its offerings.

    I have to agree 100% with that statement. There is no time to loose for ATI. They should release new products like tick-tock and effectively kick Nvidia while its down. I have all reasons to believe there won't be a 5000-series refresh and that 6000-series cards will be out in September time. I think ATI will go with pretty much the same release schedule as the 5000-series cards but a year later.
    Cheers! :)
    What ever comes down to it hopefully more info will come out in the follow weeks. This might be the first time in years that I've skipped a generation!
    Good news for ATI. I was gonna buy a 5xxx card this summer but I don't need the upgrade so I'll probably end up waiting for the 6xxx cards. Hopefully nvidia comes out with something to help keep the prices down :(