From DailyTech: NVIDIA has announced five new GPUs for the lucrative notebook PC market. The GTS 260M, GTS 250M, GT 240M, GT 230M and G210M are built on TSMC's 40nm process, leading to lower power consumption and heat produced. Lower production costs are also possible once the manufacturing line has matured and yields improve.
Archrival ATI announced the Radeon HD 4860 and 4830 in March, making them the first 40nm mobile GPU chips. The firm also launched Radeon HD 4770 video cards at the end of April. Those cards use ATI's RV740 GPU, making them the first desktop chips to be built on a 40nm process by TSMC.
In a bid to catch up to its competitor, NVIDIA has designed the new chips based on the GT200 architecture to support DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1. DirectX 10.1 is an important feature going forward as it is the foundation for DirectX 11, which was designed as a superset of DirectX 10.1. DirectX 11 support will be very important, as many game developers are looking to support it due to the huge public demand for Windows 7.
The new chips are also notable for being the first from NVIDIA to support GDDR5, which are almost twice as efficient as the older GDDR3 at the same memory bit width. ATI has been using GDDR5 since the introduction of the Radeon 4870 in the summer, and has plans to expand its use to lower cost products as well.
Interestingly, the chips are packaged as MXM 3 modules, using the standardized interconnect to the PCI Express bus. The standard length, width, and electrical pinout of MXM 3 means that notebooks using these chips may be removable, and can be upgraded when higher performing GPUs are available. However, this will be up to the individual OEMs.
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