ATI bills the Mobility Radeon as “the highest performance, most feature-rich mobile graphics processor in the world.” ATI first introduced Radeon to developers and the public last year.
Mac-compatible Radeon graphics cards have been in circulation for months, first in configurations available from The Apple Store and later as retail products. Up until now, however, Radeon has been available only in configurations suited for desktop computers. ATI manufactures retail versions of such cards for both AGP and PCI-equipped Power Macs; Apple also offers versions of Radeon cards as either standard equipment or options in various Power Mac models.
Mobility Radeon supports features including Hyper-Z compression, which ATI claims boosts effective memory bandwidth; Pixel Tapestry Architecture, a 32-bit rendering engine that supports advanced visual effects; dual Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) for multi-monitor support; and Video Immersion, which provides DVD and video playback with adaptive de-interlacing and other features designed to improve video image quality.
ATI indicates the new chipset will be available in four different models with differentiated memory support. The chip supports both single-data rate and double-data rate SDRAM and SGRAM at speeds up to 200MHz. Configurations include:
Mobility Radeon-S, the top-of-the-line configuration with flexible memory support and AGP 4x controller;
Mobility Radeon-P, with support for memory from 8MB to 64MB, developed for what ATI terms “mainstream designs;”
Mobility Radeon-D, with 16MB of integrated DDR memory, developed for “thin and light designs;”
Mobility Radeon-M, with 8MB of integrated DDR memory, designed for ultraportable systems and systems with small form factors.
Market research firm Mercury Research indicates that ATI had a 57 percent share of the mobile graphics market for Q4 2000 — the largest single marketshare of any graphics chip provider. ATI is feeling increasing competition from other chipmakers however, including Nvidia Corp., which last fall introduced its GeForce2 Go processor, a designed derived from Nvidia’s Mac-compatible GeForce2 MX chip. The GeForce2 MX chip is used in Apple-made cards now available for certain Power Mac G4 configurations.
ATI’s mobile chip technology has been used extensively throughout the PowerBook and iBook line; in fact, all PowerBook G3s and iBooks feature some version of ATI’s laptop graphics hardware. Apple’s recently released PowerBook G4 features a graphics subsystem based on ATI’s RAGE Mobility 128 graphics architecture, also.
According to a recent press release, the Mobility Radeon uses as little as half a watt of power with 8MB of memory, depending on the configuration — “in typical 2D, 3D and DVD modes.” The chip also supports the Quad Extended Graphics Array (QXGA) display standard — 2048×1536 pixels.
ATI indicates that Mobility Radeon is being evaluated by “the world’s major notebook PC manufacturers” for inclusion in future products.
For more information about Mobility Radeon or other ATI products, please visit
ATI’s Web site.