Developed by ATI Technologies, which AMD acquired at the end of last year, the new HD 2000 series comprises 10 different processors that support Microsoft’s DirectX 10. Since the acquisition, AMD/ATI has been quiet on the launch front, with nVidia dominating the headlines with new product launches, including the recent introduction of the world’s fastest graphics processing unit (GPU) (CRN, 14 May).
AMD is boasting numerous industry-firsts with the HD 2000 chips, including a Unified Shader Architecture, a 512MB memory bus for high dynamic range rendering and a Unified Video Decoder technology for high-definition (HD) video playback.
The midrange processors are the first to be built using a 65 nanometre process, which AMD said will result in cards that offer near-silent running, have passive cooling, higher performance and lower power consumption. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2000 series, for instance, will allow notebook users to view an entire HD DVD or Blu-ray disc on a single battery.
Rick Bergman, senior vice-president, AMD graphics products group, said: “We set out to create a family of products that would revolutionise the graphics market by introducing leading-edge technology at game-changing price points. We’ve delivered on this challenge, broadening the enthusiast gaming market so that more people than ever before have access to the phenomenal gaming and multimedia experiences that the ATI Radeon HD 2000 series introduces.”
There is wide support for the new solutions with card-makers lining up new offerings, while notebooks featuring the new processors are expected in the coming weeks from Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, LG, Packard Bell and Toshiba.
Adrian Thompson, vice-president, marketing, at card-maker Sapphire Technology, said: “Targeting the enthusiast with near-silent cooling and second generation unified shader architecture, Sapphire and AMD are delivering new levels of visual quality for breathtaking HD content.”
First out of the blocks will be the high-end ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, with 512Mbit eight-channel memory and 320 stream processing units.
Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of games developer, Valve, said. “Through the HD 2000’s performance and unified shader model we are able to create characters in real-time that rival the characters seen in animated feature films.”
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