ATi Takes Over 3D Technology Leadership With Radeon 9700

Radeon 9700 - Fully Loaded

It's finally about time that I spill the beans about the technical specifications of ATi's upcoming Radeon 9700 chip.

Let's start with the numbers.

The Die

Radeon 9700 is still produced in 15µ process and its 110+ million transistors are responsible for a rather respectable size. It is packaged as a flip chip, so that the actual size of the R300-chip can easily be spotted. I forgot to measure the chip, but it is pretty much as big as Intel's first Pentium 4 core 'Willamette.'

ATi is 'shooting for' a 325 MHz clock rate, but we all know that the Canadian 3D chip maker is infamous for changing chip clock specs 'on the fly.' Let's hope that ATi will finally leave this unpleasant tradition behind and stick to the announced core clock frequency or even a few MHz more.

The power requirements of the chip plus memory will be higher than what ATi wants to run through the AGP-slot. Therefore, Radeon 9700 cards will have an extra floppy drive-size power connector, to avoid a too close resemblance to 3dfx's good old Voodoo5 cards.