AMD Readies Launch of Radeon HD 6970 and 6950



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"True" Cayman is, unfortunately, an incomplete project. Originally slated to work on a 32nm process, AMD had to rearrange features on the chip to work with the 40nm process.  What that entailed was borrowing some 58xx features and removing some of the originally intended "Southern Islands" features.  In the end you end up with a compromised chip.  GPU designs take 2-3 years to develop based on a promised manufacturing process.  If the foundry can't deliver, the fabless company needs to redesign the chip in order to shrink the now oversized die to one that can actually be made.  This means sacrificing the original design somewhat. 

"Catch-up" isn't accurate at all. While Cayman has yet to surface, we have read that the architecture is much more advanced than previous generations.  In other words, it's not a 58xx series refresh. On the contrary, it features things like equal capability processing units, new render backends, adaptive tessellation, asynchronous dispatch, faster double precision, dual graphics engines etc. etc. etc. Hardly catch up. 



AMD/ATI has good some great products over the years. a Couple times, they whooped Intel and NVidia to the punch and actually had better products. Yet, within a year, the competition comes in and crusies past. Then they are stuck playing catchup, always slightly behind the curve, so they have to eat profits and drop prices. Their R&D labs need a kick in the pants- it's a tough world out there.

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