AMD announced at its Analyst Day conference that it would focus on technology to put multiple GPUs onto a single graphics cards. DigiTimes reports the firm is working on a PCI Express bridge chip which should make this easier:
The Radeon HD 3870 X2 uses a PCI Express bridge chip, the PEX6347, to let the two GPUs work together on the card. Although the cost of this solution is higher than just producing a single GPU card, AMD will be able to save on research and development costs while reducing its time to market for new high-end products.
Although AMD saves time and money from this design, its partners are expected to suffer since not will their production costs increase, power consumption and size of the cards will also go up, noted the sources.
AMD is currently planning to integrate the PCI Express bridge chip into its future GPUs so that it does not need to adopt third-party's chips. This design is expected to appear in AMD's next generation R700 series, the sources added.
The Radeon HD 3870 X2 will be available in January for $299-349.