The Inquirer has some new details about ATI's R520, which is also codenamed 'Fudo'. It is planned to be released in 2005 and it will support Shader Model 3.0.
The "Fudo" chip will have Shader model 3.0, according to our sources. It's too early for Shader 4.0 as this nice shader model won't show up till 2006 or even later.
As we suggested before, Shader Model 4.0 will come with Longhorn and our friends suggested that Windows Graphics Foundation is responsible for it. Unfortunately we all know that Longhorn is slated to arrive in 2006 or even later, so Shader Model 4.0 will be something for years to come and too late for the R520.
NVIDIA will come about six months later with its Shader 3.0 graphics cards, but just in time because games supporting it won't be released earlier than that.
One more thing, the R520 will be developed by the R300 team – I cannot remember whether that is the East or West Coast team. You know what? Those guys made graphic turn over for ATI in summer two years ago. We don't know quite what to expect but it's full of Eastern, or Western promise.