The number of bugs in a chip is relatively proportional to the number of transistors - Bob Colwell, former Intel chief architect
SURPRISE SURPRISE DAAMIT has launched its first 40nm GPUs. Well, 40nm but not as we thought they'd be... these are the Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and Mobility Radeon HD 4830.
Yes, the red-and-green team has snuck in two mobile parts built on the 40nm process, before their desktop counterparts. The numbering on these parts also represents the relative product performance. According to the AMD benchmarketing, the Mobility 4860 will perform about 8% faster than the current crop of Mobility 4850. The 4830 will fall appropriately behind the latter, although we're guesstimating from the specs. Both parts share higher clock rates than their predecessors, but only 640 stream processors.
The duet is said to have a tamer power consumption than their predecessors, of course, which fits in with the process shrink and the specs. However we weren't able to get AMD to offer us their benchmarketing on this. We'll have to wait for a partner to ship us a notebook.
Memory-wise, the cheaper part, the 4830, will support a shared-memory architecture or dedicated VRAM, depending on the notebook model. The 4860 will have GDDR5 from Qimonda (yes, still churning out the memory).
Here's a spec sheet for 55nm and 40nm MXM modules.
You'll notice the GFlops on the 4830 don't add up @ 450MHz speed (450x640x2/1000 is 576GFlops). More like 400MHz, but it could be a typo.
On a parallel announcement, Asus has squealed with glee it'll be adopting the new graphics chippery in their upcoming K-series notebooks. µ
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