At long last, vague reports about the release of next-generation Radeon GPUs are giving way to more specific predictions, thanks to DigiTimes. Quoting "sources from graphics card players," the site says AMD is preparing to introduce the products formally in October with retail availability to follow in November.
We're talking, of course, about the rumored Radeon HD 6000 series, reportedly code-named Southern Islands. DigiTimes claims changes in foundry firm TSMC's roadmap led AMD to scrap plans for 32-nm GPUs (code-named Northern Islands) and build Southern Islands products using the same 40-nm process as today's Evergreen chips. Speaking of which, DigiTimes adds that AMD will cut prices across the Radeon HD 5000 series "in the near future," presumably to make room for the next-gen parts.
The arrival of Northern Islands might be bad news for Nvidia, although as our latest numbers show, GeForce GTX 400-series cards are doing quite well against their Radeon rivals. Since Sourthern Islands won't give AMD a leg up over Nvidia on the manufacturing process side, savvy pricing and architectural improvements should be the only weapons at the new Radeons' disposal.