Following our interview with Tom Sonderman of GlobalFoundries fame, we had a chat with a person close to the GPU heart of AMD. According to the information given, ATI's initial DirectX 11 line-up will be little more than current RV7x0 series.
The internal details such as caches and registers will be expanded in order to accommodate DirectX 11 requirements, but the target is to launch DirectX 11 top-to-bottom lineup in time for the Holiday shopping frenzy. The Radeon HD4800, HD4700 and HD4400 are the base for this line-up, to be manufactured in troubled 40nm process over at TSMC.
Our source was certain that they won't be troubled with nVidia, because they're expecting to see terrible yields for the GT300. "40nm is headache for both them [nVidia] and us". "We don't care, since it won't be long now". I asked what that was all about, and our doubts were confirmed. According to this source, AMD will switch its GPU production to GlobalFoundries in H1 2010, most notably with the launch of 28nm Bulk silicon process. This will be followed with the release of first "native" DirectX 11 architecture by AMD, not the "Radeon HD 4890 with DirectX 11".
The AMD cadence remains on in full swing: "high-end" gets a dual-GPU card, "performance" gets a single GPU card, while "mainstream" and "entry" get lower-scale chips. This is the second time around that ATI is skipping a manufacturing process. ATI went from 80nm to 55nm [Radeon 2000 vs. 3000 series], skipping the 65nm step. Now, AMD/ATI will skip the 32nm process and go directly to 28nm.
Like every rumor, take this one with a large grain of salt - but this one has the combined information that confirms a lot of rumors going around