ATI is now focusing on Multi VPUs as it realised that it desperately need an answer to Nvidia's SLI. Even if ATI launches the R520 next month, Nvidia will still beat it with its two 6800 Ultra cards, so what ATI really needs is that Multi VPU. First release Multi VPU, then move to R520, that's the current plan.
Motherboard manufacturers are getting ready with their own dual PCIe boards based on RD400 and RD480 chipsets, so Multi VPU is really close to introduction. ATI is now expected to reveal the boards at Computex as this is the only show where it can effectively show them off to other than a limited audience before autumn.
Once this marchitecture is launched, ATI will follow with R520 announcement. We suggest that ATI will use a similar strategy it used with the R300, Radeon 9700 introduction when it announced cards in late July/August to have them in shops in September. This is what we expect to see this time again.
By then, we expect Nvidia to be ready with its G70. We haven't heard of any technology problems with the R520 and we are informed that this is pure strategy, and a marketing decision. But something tells me to look deeper here, just in case.
We believe that if Nvidia managed to push G70 earlier to the market then ATI would be able to respond instantly with the R520. We know that R520 is taped out, in good shape and real, just not ready for an announcement.
All of you that have been saving for R520, don't spend that money on your summer holiday if you want Shader Model 3.0 from ATI this autumn. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ