CeBIT 2009: AMD Announces World's First 40nm GPU

The new graphics processors are able to deliver high performance with low-energy requirements

Advanced Micro Devices announced today the first graphics processors in the world to be manufactured under the 40-nanometer process technology, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830. The new graphics cards are able to provide support for the latest Microsoft DirectX 10.1 games, as well as a home theater-quality HD multimedia experience and power efficiency for enhanced battery life.

Given the fact that most consumers are now more interested in mobile PCs, the new 40nm mobile GPUs prove that AMD is able to deliver the best entertainment experiences possible in a notebook, stated Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD.

“Depending on the performance of the panel or external monitor, laptops that feature these tiny, powerful but efficient graphics engines can run today’s most demanding game titles at beyond 1080p HD resolution, or playback full 1080p HD video with high energy efficiency thanks to ATI PowerPlay and 40nm process technology,” he added.

The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 graphics will be included in the upcoming Asus K notebook. Henry Yeh, GM of ASUS’ Notebook Business Unit, said that the computer maker was proud to be the first one to include the newest technology in one of its machines.

While delivering more processing power, the new 40nm production process also enables a smaller ASIC die size, enabling manufacturers to deliver highly capable discrete graphics that fit perfectly in smaller notebooks. The achievement also marks another first-to-market process transition for the ATI graphics processors.

“AMD always seeks to deliver the most advanced, yet relevant technology to our customers,” continued Bergman. “We were first with DirectX 10.1 support, first to design graphics cards supporting GDDR5 memory technology, first with WHQL certified drivers for Windows Vista, first to launch a unified shader architecture, and for the fifth consecutive time, first to launch GPUs based on a new process node. That’s a meaningful track record of reliable execution for our customers.”

The new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics processors come with powerful 3D engines built around the ATI Radeon HD 4800 desktop series architecture. They are able to deliver crisp, detail-rich images and outstanding visual effects as well as 3D gaming realism. They feature GDDR5 memory technology, which also improves the game play and delivers almost twice the performance of GDDR3.

Home theater enthusiasts will also be able to enjoy full 1080p HD viewing on HD-capable displays. At the same time, users will be able to enjoy almost twice the display resolution of HD content and even watch standard content in near-HD quality with enhanced DVD up-scaling. The CPU is unloaded by the second-generation AMD Unified Video Decoder (UVD), enabling it to perform other operations. At the same time, the UVD also gives a hand in the processing of intensive content such as Blu-ray movies. The power consumption is also lowered, and no high fan settings are required, while the laptop is quieter and cooler.

“AMD continues to push the envelope of graphics processor performance, energy efficiency, and leading features with the introduction of its 40nm graphics processors,” said Mark Liu, senior vice president, Advanced Technology Business, TSMC. “TSMC and AMD have a long history of success bringing the first graphics processors to market on new process technologies, including 90nm, 80nm, 65nm, 55nm and now 40nm.”

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