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NVIDIA Beats ATI To 80nm

With availability of the GeForce Go 7700 graphics processing unit (GPU), NVIDIA has beat ATI Technologies to the punch in the 80-nanometer manufacturing process. The GeForce Go 7700 is the first notebook GPU manufactured using 80nm process technology at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), graphics card makers indicated, adding that ATI plans to implement 80nm manufacturing process for all its GPUs by the third quarter of this year.

The NVIDIA GeForce Go 7700 (G73M-B1 core) features 12 pixel shader units, five vertex shaders and GDDR3 memory. Following the chip, NVIDIA will introduce a new desktop GPU—the GeForce 7650 GS (G73-B1 core)—manufactured on a 80nm process at the end of September, the makers said. Currently, all of NVIDIA's 80nm process production takes place at TSMC, the makers added.

A June 16 article cited Edward Chou, marketing director of ATI Technologies Asia-Pacific division, as noting that ATI's scheduled timeframe for a complete migration to 80nm production would come without delay. By 2007, ATI expects to start implementing a 65nm production node, in an attempt to bring better cost efficiency, Chou stated in the report.

NVIDIA, which had adopted a more conservative attitude in accordance with the company's manufacturing process technology roadmap and related strategies, responded with action, some graphics card makers said.

Graphics card makers, who have reviewed ATI's latest roadmap, revealed that the launch of the ATI Radeon X1950 Pro (RV570 core) and Radeon X1650 XT GPUs will take place on October 17.

Aside from TSMC, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) is mainly responsible for NVIDIA's GoForce handheld GPU production at present, according to sources. TSMC currently handles most of NVIDIA's GeForce 7100 GS production (codenamed GF-7100GS-N-A2) using 0.11-micron process technology at its Fab 12 and Fab 14, whereas Chartered Semiconductor manufactures a small volume of the GeForce 7100 GS GPU (codenamed GF-7100GS-N-B2) at its Fab 6 and Fab 7, indicated the sources.

Source: DigiTimes

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