We rely on a variety of sources for information about unreleased hardware, from rumor sites that quote chatty Taiwanese insiders to, er, chatty Taiwanese insiders. But the most reliable source has to be companies themselves, who occasionally let nuggets of information slip into the wild a little early. This time, the culprit is AMD, which has more or less confirmed the naming scheme for its upcoming graphics cards and part of their feature set.
In a post on the company's official Team ATI forums, an administrator who calls himself ATi_Guy has posted a link to a PDF white paper regarding the DirectX 10.1 application programming interface. The white paper appears to originate from AMD itself, and it talks of yet-unreleased Radeon HD 3800 graphics cards, their 55nm transistor design, and their support for DirectX 10.1 and PCI Express 2.0. If you've been following the graphics rumor mill over the past few weeks, you'll know the Radeon HD 3800 series is believed to be the offical brand name for AMD's upcoming RV670 graphics processor, which is expected to roll out on November 15.
AMD's white paper also hypes DirectX 10.1, with details about the API's support for global illumination and new antialiasing filters. AMD says DX10.1 allows developer to use "indexed cube map arrays and geometry shaders to implement global illumination efficiently in real time, even with thousands of physically modelled objects in a complex, interactive scene."
AMD claims DX10.1 will bring antialiasing improvements, too, allowing "custom anti-aliasing filters to be implemented with pixel shaders." The company explains, "Custom filters can offer improved quality in certain cases where standard MSAA can have issues, such as with HDR lighting and deferred shading techniques." More details are available in the white paper here.