We’ve been hearing talk since last month that one of the causes behind the R600’s many delays was that AMD opted to switch to 65nm process technology. However, AMD’s director of marketing for discrete desktop graphics products, Vijay Sharma, has told German site PC Games Hardware a different story. In an interview with Sharma, the site asks how big an advantage using 80nm process technology instead of 90nm presents for the R600. Sharma replies:
Yeah, I think the big advantage that 80 gives you over 90 from a process perspective is transistor density. You just get more and the chip will cost less for a given transistor count than it would at 90.
Later, he adds:
So the choice of 80 was aligned with what we need to deliver and it did give us a cost advantage over 90. So we choose to go that way.
He eventually drives the point home by specifying that the R600 won’t be AMD’s first 80nm part—indeed, AMD’s existing 80nm lineup includes such cards as the Radeon X1950 Pro, which came out in October last year. (Thanks to TR regular Shintai for the tip.)