ATI announces Radeon 9100 IGP chips

— 8:54 AM on June 23, 2003

ATI has just launched its Radeon 9100 IGP and Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP north bridge chips with integrated graphics for Intel's desktop and mobile processors, respectively. The product sheets for each chipset aren't available on ATI's web site just yet, but HardOCP has mirrored the PDFs for the Radeon 9100 IGP and Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP.

There's plenty of information in each chip's respective spec sheet, but here are a few of the more interesting details from the product sheets and ATI's product launch web cast.

  • As expected, the Radeon 9100 IGP chips offer dual-channel DDR400 memory and AGP 8X support. However, though the Radeon 9100 IGP supports Hyper-Threading, its front-side bus is limited to 533MHz.

  • The Radeon 9100 IGP supports three VGA monitors in a "Triplehead" configuration when used in conjunction with one of ATI's discrete dual output AGP graphics cards.

  • ATI is targeting $500 PCs with the Radeon 9100 IGP, which will bring pixel shader support to the masses. Low-cost Media Center Edition PCs are also in ATI's sights (with an external TV Tuner card.)

  • No mention was made of plans for a core-logic chipset that doesn't include an integrated graphics core, nor was an updated south bridge chip with more competitive features than the current IXP 250 announced.

  • The Radeon 9100 IGPs' hardware pixel shader (version 1.4) is explicitly mentioned, but there's no confirmation of a hardware vertex shader.

  • ATI is claiming the 3DMark03 performance of the Radeon 9100 IGP is six times that of its nearest integrated graphics competitor. Apparently, the Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP consumes half as much power as its nearest competitor, too. Of course, those competitors go unnamed.

  • The Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP supports mobile Pentium 4-M and Pentium M processors.
Overall, the Radeon 9100 IGP chips look like potentially compelling mainstream and business offerings, but the lack of support for Intel's latest Pentium 4 "C" processors is disappointing, to say the least. ATI may yet offer a core-logic chipset with an 800MHz front-side bus targeted at enthusiasts, but it's a shame business users won't be able to get their groove on with Triplehead and cheap Hyper-Threading with a Pentium 4 2.4C.

Speaking of Triplehead, this product launch has to have at least a few boxers bunched up over at Matrox. ATI's implementation is more limiting, since it requires that the Radeon 9100 IGP be used in conjunction with one of ATI's own graphics cards, but it's still pretty slick. On its own, the Radeon 9100 IGP supports two-screens via VGA, DVI, or even S-Video outputs.

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