Leaked: 40nm Radeon HD 5870 to Peak 1.5 TFLOPS

A much smaller die for the GPU, DirectX11 and more to come next year

AMD's graphics division ATI has been expected to move to RV870 in a few quarters, and some interesting details on this new GPU have surfaced the Web today. A few weeks ago, ATI already unveiled some details on its objectives for 2009, and we've already learned that the company plans to launch 40nm chips next year. This time, we hear that the RV870 is going to be a 40nm part for sure. Also, the HD 5870 card based on this GPU is reported to come with a 1.5 TFLOPS computational horsepower.

The great news about RV870 does not end here. It will feature 25 percent more shader processors compared to RV770. That is why its performance will be highly leveraged from the 1 TFLOP that HD 4870 can reach today. Besides, the dimensions of the GPU will be lower considerably. The die is said to be 205 mm². For the record, RV770 is 256 mm², while NVIDIA's GTX 280 is quite big at 576 mm².

As expected, the GPU will feature support for DirectX11. Previous news showed that DirectX11 should surface in mid-2009 and that games based on it would hit the market in the third quarter of the next year. The new standard should mark visible changes in the market, and it will come for Vista as well as for Windows 7.

The RV870-based cards that will come to the market will feature GDDR5 memory, plus a 512 bit memory interface. According to hardspell, which cites sources from the manufacturer, the memory will have a 150-160 GB/s bandwidth.

The cooling system used on the cards will also be a brand new one. Since RV870 will come with such a small die, the HD 5870 X2 will not feature two separate GPUs, but two RV770 cores stacked on top of each other, the same we've seen on Pentium-D. If things go that way, users will be able to set up three HD 5870 X2 cards on a single motherboard, which would give them an extremely great amount of horsepower.

Hopefully, ATI will develop the CrossFireX technology so as to scale up well enough for three or more GPUs on the same system. If the rumors on RV870 and HD 5870 turn to be true, then we'll see a nice looking and great performing card launched by ATI in mid-2009.

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