AMD Claims Breakthrough With Blazing-Fast Graphics Chip

505 Games Supremacy MMAAMD 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.

AMD, which has been in the news recently for reorganization and layoffs, also recently launched an industry-first 16-core server chip. 

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.

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