Radeon X2900 XTX to have a dedicated audio chip?
Rumor sites have been tossing around gossip and speculation about clock speeds, memory speeds, shader power, and other features of AMD's upcoming R600 graphics processor—and its host Radeon X2900-series cards—for a while now. However, the guys at The Inquirer have unearthed a new and surprising tidbit about the R600. Apparently, AMD's Radeon X2900 cards will feature a dedicated audio chip with high-definition, multi-channel output capabilities. The chip will allow the upcoming Radeons' HDMI port to serve HDCP-wrapped audio and video directly, without requiring an audio pass-through cable.
By contrast, The Inq says Nvidia's future HDMI-equipped GeForce 8-series cards will need to run a cable from a separate sound card or integrated audio. This setup could in some configurations violate Microsoft's Vista Logo Program requirements, which state, "HDMI output cannot be shared with an S/PDIF output under any circumstances. All digital outputs must be independent. It is acceptable to use the S/PDIF output to feed an HDMI capable graphics adapter however the pin widget must be exposed as an HDMI Audio output (using the correct pin configuration values) and cannot at the same time function as an S/PDIF output."