A few weeks ago, ATI surprised everyone by demonstrating silicon of their sixth generation graphics technology at the Game Developer's Conference. (GDC)
We wouldn't have believed it ourselves, except for the fact that we got to see the card in action. In fact, ATI's *official* press photo of the 6th generation card was taken by Alexis. The Rage 6 now even has a name: Radeon 256.
We're not very sure what Radeon stands for, but a similar argument can be made for the GeForce: we don't think NVIDIA is using germanium instead of silicon in any of its chips.
During GDC we couldn't squeeze ATI for any technical data, they didn't even answer the question of "These memory chips don't look like regular SDRAM…"
If you recall our ATI report from GDC, we talked about many of the exciting new technologies ATI was developing like Texel Tapestry and the Charisma Engine. In fact, it sounds a lot like a direct challenge to the Sony Playstation 2's Emotion Engine. Is this comparison warranted? According to what we found out, yes. Remember that NVIDIA's president was comparing NVIDIA's technology to the Playstation 2 as well. The clincher is that both products from ATI and NVIDIA will be released before the PlayStation 2 hits American shores.
Today, ATI is finally letting the Radeon out of the bag. We haven't had the opportunity to test the card directly, but we did find out more juicy info.
The Radeon 256 board
In addition to improving the 3D performance of the Radeon 256 in comparison to the Rage 128 Pro, ATI has gone even further by adding cutting edge video performance, which includes full HDTV support through a component video out.