CPU (December 2005)

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Quantum Leap: The Xbox 360 As you read this, the vastly hyped Xbox 360 launch should be (fingers crossed) just days away. We’re fighting hard not to give in to the demos, rumors, and savvy stream of data trickling from Redmond and stay objective about the 360’s graphics potential in advance of spotlight getting hands-on. But after speaking with Bob Feldstein, ATI vice president of engineering, we’ve all but capitulated. The 360’s GPU, code-named Xenos, essentially began with Microsoft making ATI the offer of the century: Forget everything you dislike about modern graphics chips and design the dream architecture from the ground up.

It’s not DirectX shader model 3. ) Graphical Perspective ATI is embarking on its third decade. Just a decade ago, the name ATI was practically synonymous with driver instability and product returns. When cards worked the performance was generally lackluster. ATI has come a long way, and we have a feeling the best is still over the horizon. It’s one thing to render a digital creation such as Gollum and another to interact with it in real time. That’s coming. 3D in your palm at a decent resolution is coming.

3MP camera the 2282 steps up to 3MP. The 2282 can record CIF video while the 2300 can’t, ditto for videoconferencing and audio processing. Only the 2300 delivers hardware acceleration for 3D gaming at 100MP per second. In comparison, the original ATI Radeon had a fill rate of 366MP per second. Thompson expects handhelds to undergo the same sort of 3D evolution that PCs did, only 10 times as quickly. 264-based TV streaming. Services such as Verizon’s V Cast still use less-efficient MPEG-2 or proprietary codecs.

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