The mass production of ATI his R420 graphics core is going to start at the end of Q1 2004. The R420 will be made at TSMC, using a low-k process technology. The core will habe about 160 million transistors, and GDDR3 memory architecture.
Nvidia is expected to launch its comparable product (the NV40) around the same time. Not much is known about the NV40, except that it will also support the AGP 8x bus and be made using a 0.13-micron process.
The two graphics chip giants both chose to use the more mature 0.13-micron manufacturing processes for their high-end products. Local card makers explained that this may be due to concerns about performance stability and production costs. ATI is said to be using a 0.11-micron process for production of its mainstream RV370 graphics chip.