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ATI prepares new chips and marketing

VIA roadmap for new Columbia and Columbia 2 GPUs

Smartphone 7135: a new PDA/phone hybrid from Kyocera

DirectX 9: hardware part ready, software part delayed

SDRAM retires slowly

Samsung SDI launches volume production of small-sized OLED screens

Photo of the day: Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9700 PRO based on Radeon 9700 Pro

3D Blaster 5 RX9700 Pro from Creative

PC-CAM 750: new portable 2.1-megapixel webcam from Creative

ATI prepares new chips and marketing

Almost every week now brings messages about new rival fights between ATI and NVIDIA. This one brought two additional facts: ATI reported plans for releasing several new chips and launching its new marketing campaign; NVIDIA announced the shipments of NV18 samples supporting AGP 8x.

Inspired with the success of its System Integrator Partner Program (SIPP) in Europe and USA, and with the releases of new Radeon GPUs, ATI is going to launch similar Asia Pacific Partner Program (APPP) in the Asian-Pacific region in September. Program participants will get $1 to $5 discounts, depending on the product. Besides, the company plans to open an office in Shanghai in September to expand its Chinese business. ATI hopes to take over up to 50% of Chinese market.

Then, the Canadian company plans to progress further and, perhaps, we´ll see two new GPUs soon: Radeon 9700, the light version of Radeon 9700 PRO, based on R300, and Radeon 9500, also the light version of R300 with 4 pipelines.

Taiwanese sources also assure that ATI plans to release 0.15-micron R350 and 0.13-micron RV350 this year, however, according to our sources, this is pure fiction.

As for the 0.13-micron NVIDIA NV30, its release is planned according to the schedule.

VIA roadmap for new Columbia and Columbia 2 GPUs

Our reliable sources supplied us with information about VIA Technologies roadmap for the next-generation Columbia and Columbia 2 GPUs.

Columbia 2
AGP 8x
AGP 8x
Core 8 pipelines / 1 texture per pass Extended texel fill rate, shader processors, high-precision rendering, higher order primitive processing
Core clock rate 300 MHz => 400 MHz
Memory DDR I, 300 MHz => 350 MHz
API DirectX 9 DirectX 9.1
Support Vertex Shaders v2.0, Pixel Shaders v2.0
Hierarchical Z-buffer Z-I Z-II
Interfaces Integrated HDTV out (480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p), LVDS, Duo-View+ Integrated HDTV out (480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p), LVDS, Duo-View+
Process technology 0.13-micron0.13-micron
3DMark 2001, approx. 11K — 15K Three times the performance of Columbia
Samples Q4 2002
Volume production H1 2003 H1 2004

Smartphone 7135: a new PDA/phone hybrid from Kyocera

Kyocera published the specifications of its new-generation Kyocera 7135 CDMA smartphone, being a hybrid of a phone and a PDA.

Kyocera 7135 brief specifications:

  • 65-color LCD screen
  • Palm OS 4.1
  • 16MB RAM
  • Built-in MP3-player
  • Media player supporting .jpg, .bmp, .tif, .png, .mov, .avi, .aud and .wmf
  • Expansion slots
  • Triple operation mode: CDMA digital PCS, CDMA digital cellular, CDMA analog
  • CDMA2000 1X; up to 153 Kbps data transfer rate
  • Caller ID, voice calling, hands-free
  • Voice notes
  • Address book, tasks, notebook, calendar, Microsoft Outlook sync
  • Optional GPS locator
  • Serial and USB interfaces, infra-red port
  • Eudora e-mail client
  • HTML and WAP browsers
  • Vibracaller
  • Multi-language menu
  • Talk time (CDMA): up to 3.5 hours
  • Idle time: up to 160 hours
  • Power: a standard Li-Ion battery
  • Vocoder: 13 Kbps (PureVoice) and EVRC
  • Size: 100.8x61.6x29.7 mm
  • Weight: 186 g

DirectX 9: hardware part ready, software part delayed

As all of you know, the official announcement of Microsoft DirectX 9 was expected in the beginning of October. However Microsoft changed its plans. According to The Inquirer, Games Developer Conference, currently taking place in London, brought the first rumours that Microsoft decided to move the official release of DX9 to the end of November.

Currently, the newest version of this API is Beta 2, however Radeon 9700 Pro is now the only solution that supports DirectX 9. Of course, ATI doesn´t benefit from this anyhow, as no one will ship cards with DirectX 9 beta drivers. By the way, even after the release of DirectX 9 Beta 2 the situation remained unclear, as who knows if the final or another intermediate revision will follow.

In other words, it proves the opinion of some analysts: DirectX9-enabled software will become popular and widespread not before the Christmas. Another interesting fact is that the life cycle of DirectX 9 shortens to minimal, as, according to provisional data, the announcement of Microsoft DirectX 9.1 is scheduled to spring 2003.

SDRAM retires slowly

Due to the worldwide transition of servers and PCs to DDR memory the price difference between DDR and SDRAM became so considerable that OEM makers and PC component manufacturers still continue to buy SDRAM for their products to make their price cost as low as possible.

In July SDRAM shipments volume was larger than DDR, however in August everyone expected the situation to change. Nevertheless, memory vendors doubt that DDR shipments outnumber SDRAM.

Not long ago some vendors were selling DDR memory supplying it with additional SDRAM modules, trying to sell the latter at any cost. Now, as SDRAM prices have become so low, OEM makers themselves use it in their low-end PCs.

Vendors agree that SDRAM is to retire in the nearest future and no maker will hesitate any more. At least, there will not be a backward transition to SDRAM production instead of DDR for sure.

Samsung SDI launches volume production of small-sized OLED screens

It´s nice to realize that sometimes implementation follows development in a very short time. So, it took Samsung SDI a bit more than a month to prepare the volume production of its OLED screens (organic light-emitting diodes; organic electro-luminescence displays, OELD) to launch it in the nearest future.

Samsung OLED screens are 2116 mm in size, support 256 colors, 100 candles/sq.m brightness, 100:1 contrast and 1 microsecond response time, enabling video playback and gaming.

By the year-end the company plans to make 100,000 screens for new mobile phones from Samsung Electronics.

Photo of the day: Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9700 PRO based on Radeon 9700 Pro

Recently announced Gigabyte´s MAYA II GV-R9700 PRO graphics card supporting AGP 8, based on ATI RADEON 9700 PRO, occupied its honor place on our video testbed:

GV-R9700 PRO has 128MB of 2.8 ns DDR SDRAM; core clock rate is traditionally 325 MHz, memory clock rate is 620 MHz.

3D Blaster 5 RX9700 Pro from Creative

Creative announced the release of Creative 3D Blaster 5 RX9700 Pro graphics cards based on the new high-end ATI RADEON 9700 Pro GPU.

New AGP 8 cards features 128MB of DDR memory clocked at 620 MHz, core clock rate makes 325 MHz. The product has analog, digital DVI and TV-out. The suggested retail price of Creative 3D Blaster 5 RX9700 Pro is $399.

PC-CAM 750: new portable 2.1-megapixel webcam from Creative

Today Creative Technology announced the release of its new 2.1-megapixel Creative PC-CAM 750 webcamera.

Creative PC-CAM 750 main specifications:

  • Sensor: 2.1-megapixel XGA CCD matrix
  • Lens: 4-element, focus-free
  • Max. resolution: 1600x1200
  • Built-in memory: 16MB (up to 85 shots at max. resolution, up to 200 shots at 640x480)
  • Video and sound recording: built-in mic, up to 75 sec video with sound or up to 60 min audio
  • Software: Ulead Photo Express 4.0 MCE, Ulead VideoStudio 5.0 SE DV
  • Interface: USB
  • Power: 4 AAA batteries
  • Suggested price: $150

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