AMD’s 6870 coming in November

Early silicon doing very well

ATI logoIT LOOKS LIKE ATI’s, sorry AMD’s, 6870 is on track and doing quite well. Early word from AMD central has two big thumbs up.

We have already told you about the first member of the ATI’s, sorry AMD’s, Northern Islands family taping out, it is called Barts. Barts is a mid-range part aimed squarely at the Nvidia GF104/GTX460 chip, likely called the HD6770. It is due out really soon and should obliterate the competition.

Cayman, the big brother to Barts, taped out a little over a month after Barts, so it was expected to hit the streets a little after a month from Barts as well. This would put the 6870 on the streets in mid to late November. SemiAccurate’s sources tell us that that is exactly what is happening.

Shipments to OEMs are going to start around the same time Barts/6770 hits the street. This puts cards 2-4 weeks out, well in time for Black Friday. Unlike previous Black Friday rumors, this card is real, not a puppy wielding wood screws.

In another turn of events, unlike the last round of cards bearing the last three digits of 870, this round should have very plentiful supply. While there will always be initial shortfalls due to demand, this time around wafer supplies are much higher. To top it off, yields are very good, the first batch of silicon from the fab is yielding far better than 5870/Cypress did at the same stage.

The end result is November should have a plentiful supply of Northern Islands cards, both 67×0 and 68x0s. If demand isn’t insane, dual Cayman cards, aka Antilles, should be on the market as 69x0s before the end of 2010. If demand is too high for the 6870, then 6970 may be delayed a bit until there is adequate supply. ATI, sorry AMD, did learn from the last time.

Stick around, the rest of 2010 is going to be very exciting from a GPU standpoint, and early 2011 looks just as good. Unless you are an Nvidia stockholder, then it won’t be nearly as fun.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate