At the recent Analyst Day conference, AMD noted that it will focus on technology to put multiple GPUs onto a single card to form its new high-end graphics products.
AMD has already started working on the technology in its Radeon HD 3000 series, according to sources at graphics card makers. The first product will be the Radeon HD 3870 X2 which will feature two RV670XT GPUs and will launch in January 2008 with a price set between US$299-349, noted the sources.
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.