Graphics card and chip maker
ATI Technologies Inc.
today announced the Mobility Radeon 7500, the latest in its series of mobile graphics processors developed for laptop computers.
ATI has clearly positioned the Mobility Radeon 7500 to compete against Nvidia Corp.’s own first-generation mobile graphics hardware, the GeForce2 Go. ATI said that the new hardware is almost twice as fast as Nvidia’s offering, and also offers PowerPlay, a new type of power conservation technology. And unlike the original Radeon Mobility, the Mobility Radeon 7500 sports on-board hardware transform and lighting (T&L) capabilities.
The inclusion of hardware T&L — what ATI calls “Charisma Engine” — addresses the biggest shortcoming apparent in the original Mobility Radeon’s architecture when compared to Nvidia’s GeForce2 Go architecture. Hardware transform & lighting is a feature increasingly sought after by users demanding the latest and greatest 3D graphics acceleration performance.
ATI’s PowerPlay power management system is also new for the Mobility Radeon 7500 — the technology has been developed to extend battery life as much as possible by implementing a voltage and frequency throttling technology.
ATI claims the Mobility Radeon 7500 delivers almost twice the performance of the GeForce2 Go graphics chip, which began to see adoption in PC-based laptop computers earlier this year.
The Mobility Radeon 7500 is the first mobile graphics chip to support 128-bit double data rate (DDR) memory, according to ATI. The system can support up to 64MB of video memory, between its integrated memory and external memory supplied by the laptop vendor.
Reuben Soraya is ATI’s director of marketing for its mobile business unit. He told MacCentral that the Mobility Radeon 7500 is now ready for prime time. “The silicon is production quality,” said Soraya.
Soraya said that his company expects to see laptop computers with the new hardware hit the streets in the fourth calendar quarter. The biggest question for Mac users is if or when Apple will introduce a PowerBook model with the new graphics hardware.
When Apple introduced its titanium-clad PowerBook G4 this past January, the system featured ATI’s RAGE Mobility 128 graphics hardware, which with Mobility Radeon 7500’s introduction is now two generations removed from ATI’s flagship portable graphics hardware. Thus far, Apple has announced no plans to update or replace the PowerBook G4’s RAGE Mobility 128 system with something different.