NVIDIA launched the second chip in their Series 6 range, the NV43 which is aimed at the mainstream market.
NV43 can effectively be thought of as half an NV40 – with 8 SIMD pixel shader pipelines (still with double Z/Stencil rates), 3 MIMD Vertex Shaders, a 128-bit memory bus width, full Pixel Shader 3.0 support and 64-bit floating point blending and filtering. Other than the performance features, one area that NV43 differs from NV40 is that this is the first of NVIDIA’s native PCI-Express chips. Also, while NV40 is presently produced on IBM's 130nm FSG process, NV43 will be utilising TSMC's 110nm process in order to minimize die sizes.
The NV43 will ship in two versions: the GeForce 6600 GT with a core clocked at 500MHz and GDDR3 memory clocked at 500MHz (1GHz). The GT also features the ability to use NVIDIA's SLI. The normal 6600 has a 300MHz core, with the memory configuration being left to the individual vendor.
Another feature of the 6600's is their video encoder functionality. NVIDIA says that the NV43 will allow both encoding and decoding.
The GeForce 6600 GT is expected to be available in September for a price of $199.
Although there will be retail boards available, being native PCI Express the boards initial primary market will be the OEM and System Integrator channels as, at the moment, the after market for PCI Express is fairly small. With the “HSI” PCI Express bridge chip, NVIDIA will be able to reverse its initial use in order to turn this PCI Express native chip into an AGP compatible board; bridged AGP versions should be available later in the year, with similar, if not the same, performance characteristics, although NVIDIA aren’t announcing any specifics on these configurations just yet. With PCI Express supplying 75Watts of power across the bus the PCI Express boards will not require any external power connectors, although its expected the AGP versions will do when they are announced.
Head over to Beyond3D for some photo's of NVIDIA's new card.