Pictures of ATI's R600 surface
A Chinese site by the name of ZOL has posted some die shots
of ATI's upcoming R600 graphics processor. The shots show
the R600 side-by-side with its predecessor, the R580, and there are a couple of notable differences. For one, the R600 looks to be about 17% bigger than the R580, even though the former is based on smaller 80nm process technology. Considering the R580 sports around 384 million transistors, the size increase suggests the R600 has in excess of 500 million transistors—a number echoed by the Chinese site.
Perhaps more interestingly, the R600 is rotated 45°. According to the folks at The Inquirer, the rotation is required to shorten trace paths to video memory. Previous rumors claim the R600 has a 512-bit memory controller and support for up to 2GB of GDDR4 RAM, so the more exotic packaging might indeed be a necessity.
The Chinese site doesn't have any pictures of the R600 board or other juicy details. However, it does claim the R600 launch is scheduled for January 20.