AMD has several new plans for the future. Very soon , AMD will be releasing the K6+ running at 266mhz. Basically , this chip will be a 0.25 micron version of the K6 , nothing special. Soon afterwards (AMD is gearing towards H2 1998) AMD will release it's AMD K6+-3D. Before this however , AMD will have a prelude to this biggie w/the AMD K6-3D (notice the + is missing) This chip will run at 300mhz (3x100mhz) and sit on a socket 7 like it's older brother the K6. It will use 0.25 micron technology and have 9.3 million transistors. This new chip will feature many improvements to the original K6 , including enhanced MMX , special 3D and multimedia functions which will enhance 3D modelling preformance if enabled. (Let's hope this new technology will not turn out to be like Intel's MMX. The K6+-3D will be AMD's real big hit. Running at 400mhz initially and moving to 450mhz later on in 1998 , the K6+-3D will feature 256L2 cache ON-CHIP running at CLOCK SPEED! Not only that , this chip will also support L3 CACHE as well! The K6+-3D will still run on a socket 7 (let's hope that Socket 7 can handle 450mhz!) and have 21.3 million transistors (as much as some of digitals processors!) AMD will also be releasing a Slot 1 compatible chip , the AMD K7. This chip is scheduled for production in 1999 when INTEL unveils it's MERCED (IA-64). It will run at 500mhz and up. ***news*** The AMD K7 will be 64bit according to an AMD contact who e-mailed me today(12/11/97).
Table summary of AMD's upcoming chips.
I do not have any real information
on Cyrix's upcoming Cayenne Processor with the exception of what is included
in the press release. I see no point in rewriting the press release on
my page , so I have provided a link to it below.
With all the hype on AMD's K6-3D
and 3D+ , people have tended to neglect Intel's upcoming suprises. Let
me tell you , there is lot's coming! First of all , just a note about the
MERCED (IA-64) Intel's first 64bit RISC based chip (though Intel likes
to deny that it is entirely RISC :·) The Merced will be released
in 1999 according to Intel , not 1998. (rumors...rumors...rumors...)
Anyway , here is a summary of Intel's
upcoming ventures in table format.
Tseng has begun working on it's first 3D accelerator , the Et6300. It should have been released early 1997 , however , due to lack of availability of 3.3v MDRAM (a proprietary type of RAM , which is why it's availability is limited) , the Et6300 will not make it's way to the market in 1997. About the last sentence , I personally think that this is a cover for a more serious problem on Tseng's part. Since I have not gotten responses from any one at Tseng , I cannot verify this. Tseng is also working on AGP support , which we may see included in the Et6300.
Most of you have probably heard of 3dfx's upcoming voodoo 2. With claims of 100+fps in Quake (640x480 GL) , this card will most likely be the strongest blow to the video card markety since the original voodoo. With support for both AGP and PCI , as well as a special SLI mode , in which 2 Voodoo 2 cards cooperate together to acheive double the speed , The Voodoo 2 will dominate for years to come. The Voodoo 2 features more RAM than the original voodoo , anywhere from 6Megs (2frame/2texture/2texture) to 12Megs or RAM on a single card. (4/4/4). The Voodoo 2 uses a unique 192bit memory architecture to acheive bandwith in excess of 2gig/sec!! The only worry I have about this card is the price. The Voodoo 2 will most likely cost around 300$ , a hefty sum of money for a 3D only card. Many of you may be wondering what companies will be producing Voodoo 2 based cards. Well , Currently there are a few companies which I am aware of. They are listed below.
Jazz Multimeda RENEGADE 3D - a 6meg board (2/2/2) which will be priced around 200$
Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D 2 - another 6meg board (2/2/2) I am not sure of the pricing as of yet.
Creative Labs - dont know much about this one yet. Most likely a 6meg board as well.
Canopus - Again , I am laking information about this board. All I know is that it most likely won't debut as a 12meg board.
WIZARD 3D - The biggie. Californai graphics will be releasing the
12meg (4/4/4) Voodoo 2 board , selling at ~399$
Expect more on this card soon!
With the Voodoo 2 coming out in a few
months , and competitors such as nVidia and Rendition , the PowerVR chip
has been left in the dust. It's affordable price has kept it alive somewhat
, however , this was not enough for NEC and PowerVR. In the works
now is the latest addition to the PowerVR family , the PMX , or Highlander
chip. This chip is expected to perform in excess of 3x as fast as the current
PowerVR chip , making it competition for the all mighty Voodoo 2. The card
should be producing fill rates comparable to the Voodoo 2. (at 70mhz ,
75million , at 100mhz , over 100million , Voodoo 2 does 90million)
Not only does the Highlander promise to offer Voodoo 2 preformance , it
is a 2D/3D card , supports up to 32megs of Video Ram , and will cost around
140$. Now , a card like this priced at 140$ will most likely top the markets
, and give the Voodoo 2 a run for its money. Then again , you never know.
We will have to wait and see if Highlander lives up to its promises.