AMD says it’s producing the world’s fastest graphics chip, aimed at PC gamers willing to pay top dollar. The chip, the Radeon HD 7970, will be available starting Jan. 9 on a graphics card priced at $549.
With the new Graphics Core Next architecture, the chip can support up to six monitors at once and use 3 gigabytes of graphics memory. It grew out of AMD’s 2006 acquisition of ATI Technologies. AMD said about 600 games support the chip.
Says The Wall Street Journal:
Where PC microprocessors — also sold by AMD as well as larger rival Intel — typically have one to 16 electronic brains, the latest AMD graphics chip has 2,048 simpler calculating engines it calls stream processors.
The 7970 is also newsworthy for its ever-tinier 28-nanometer technology. But Intel is due to deliver 22-nanometer chips in the first half of next year from its own manufacturing plants. TSMC, a foundry where the AMD chips are produced, also offers its technology to Nvidia, heretofore the technological leader in game graphics, and other chip makers.