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ATI unveils mid-range Radeon X700

All-in-Wonder X600 Pro too

ATI today launched its much-anticipated RV410 chip, to be sold as the Radeon X700, the company's mainstream part pitched against arch-rival Nvidia's GeForce 6600 series.

ATI also unveiled its latest PCI Express multimedia offering, the All-in-Wonder X600 Pro.

The X700 chip contains eight pixel processing pipelines fed by six vertex engine. The chip's software utilises these pipelines for 3D graphics acceleration and to provide video manipulation in 2D mode. Specifically, ATI uses the chip to provide what it says is superior de-interlacing for video and DVD playback, to smooth out 'block' Internet-transmitted video streams, such as instant messaging video chats, and to reduce video noise.

The chip's memory controller can handle a variety of SDRAM types from DDR through to GDDR 3, all across a 128-bit bus.

Fabbed by TSMC at 110nm, the part is ready for inclusion in passively cooled BTX PCs, ATI said, though mainstream designs based on the new form-factor are unlikely to ship in significant quantities until Q1/Q2 2005, the graphics company believes.

ATI will build the chip into three boards: the X700, X700 Pro and X700 XT, with the same core clocked to 400, 425 and 475MHz, respectively. The trio's memory clocks are set to 700, 860 and 1050MHz, for bandwidths of 11.2, 13.8 and 16.8GBps, ATI said. Fill rates are calculated at 3.2, 3.4 and 4.0 gigapixels per second.

The low-end board and the XT will both ship with 128MB of GDDR 3, while the Pro model will contain 256MB. US pricing is pegged at $149 for the X700, and $199 for the Pro and XT boards. European pricing through ATI's board partners is expected to follow the same pattern, but it's likely they will ship the XT with 256MB and up the price accordingly.

Separately, ATI launched the All-in-Wonder X600 Pro, a low-end alternative to the All-in-Wonder X800 XT is announced a couple of weeks ago.

Based on ATI's RV370 chip, which first appeared on roadmaps earlier this year, the X600 contains four pixel pipelines and two vertex engines, which, like the X800 XT and the X700, are used to provide a variety of video processing features.

The All-in-Wonder integrates a digital TV tuner which doubles-up as an FM radio receiver. It can decode MPEG 1, 2 and 4; Real Media; DivX and Microsoft Windows Media Video 9, ATI said.

The card comes with ATI's latest Multimedia Center software, which incorporates EazyLook, a simple Media Center-style UI designed for users sitting a few metres away from their PC screens. ATI has also included the usual Gemplus GuidePlus+ North American - European cards will feature an alternative, local online TV guide.

Again, ATI will offer the board itself in the US, while European board partners will ship the product here under their own names. ®

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