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Even more AMD RS690 details trickle down

80nm chipset for 90nm CPUs?
Thu Nov 30 2006, 13:56

EARLIER TODAY, FUDO REVEALED some details of AMD's upcoming RS690 chipset. I can expand a little further on these now, as RS690 will have a range of different variants with some fairly big differences.

First point of note - the RS690 series is an 80nm chipset. That's right: it's looking likely that AMD will have 80nm chipsets churned out before they have widespread availability of CPUs made on anything smaller than a 90nm process. The chips themselves will be made in ATIs old fab partners at TSMC and UMC and, as you'd suspect, will be a lead-free part.

So far we're aware of seven variants, although not too sure of the differences. RS690M is the mainstream mobile part, but there is also a cut down RS690MC with no TMDS out, so you're limited to VGA or LVDS only. There's also no external PCIe x16 graphics port on this "value" part.

RS690T is another mobile part, but we've heard rumours of some very neat and surprising features that make this different. More on that when we've confirmed it. Here comes the pure speculation part: my best guess is that the part known as RD690 is the desktop variant without integrated graphics, but since there's an RS690 (without the M) and RX690 too, we'll have to wait and see.

Back to facts: all the integrated graphics parts have an X700-derived core with four pipelines, as Fudo said, which is fully DirectX 9 compatible, but doesn't have DirectX10 hardware support. Still it should be enough for very slick Vista Aero effects, and playing "The Sims" on a plane. There is also an TV output DAC on chip, supporting HDTV up to 1920x1080i component video output.

The DVI & HDMI supporting variants all have on-chip HDCP key storage, and can blast out HD audio over HDMI connections too, but we're not yet sure how the security works on dual link modes.

The RS690 series are largely pin compatible with the earlier Radeon Xpress 11x0 series (RS485) chipsets, so spinning a new board for this shouldn't be too much work for notebook makers, which is bound to be great news to them.

Also it's worth re-iterating that, while the integrated X700 core won't break any records, AMD are very keen to say how a combination of Turion X2 + RS690M will have much better compatibility and performance in games than a Merom + 965GM. As we've pointed out before, the G965 performance isn't exactly great, and the mobile version will have to be significantly knobbled to get the power consumption down, so we think DAAMIT are onto a potential winner here. μ

See Also
RS690 to arrive December
South American site leaks ATI chipset roadmap


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