AMD's recent takeover of ATi may have signicant long-term benfits for both but, right now, it doesn't seem to have done anything for ATI's ability to produce state-of-the-art graphic processors in a timely fashion.
While trawling the night markets in Old Taipei with the HEXUS Dragon Tour 2006, ol' Willy Deeplung tells us he heard word on the street about ATI's promised R600 part - not only how late it now is but also some of the issues there have been along this yellow brick road.
As many of you know, ATi R600 should be with us now. ATI's AIB manufacturing partners are gagging for it. The biggest trouble they're having is that there are no GPUs floating around. None.
Most makers are feeling very much in the dark over this one, so we thought we'd update you by sharing all of the little information we've been able to gather.
R600 has had several challenges, principally over power and cooling.
ATi has looked at water-cooling and traditional air cooling. But, the speed of the processor and its resultant heat output have meant that ATi also had to consider more complex hi-tech solutions.
So, the company turned to NanoFoil cooling technology. This, as best we can understand, works by having ultra-thin nanolayers of aluminium and nickel that can be kicked into life by heat, electricity or mechanical or optical stimulation, causing a reaction that gives off heat in a controlled fashion.
But NanoFoil is a solution that's been looking for a problem since the turn of 2003, and hasn't as far as we known, had any real-life use for cooling GPUs, CPUs or anything similar.
At the heart of the cooling problem, though, is the R600's power requirements. These are nothing short of laughable at the moment.
With the clock speeds the company's looking to deploy, R600's requirements seem like they're going to outpace those of NVIDIA Quad parts. Cooling issues only make things worse and it's still unclear what steps ATi can take to solve these dual problems.