Rumour: Radeon HD 6000 set for October launch

There's already been plenty of chatter about AMD's new Radeon HD 6000-series GPUs joining us at the end of this year, but the latest word on the whisper wagon is that AMD is planning to announce the chips in just a couple of months.

The Taiwanese peddlars of tech tittle-tattle over at DigiTimes claim to have grabbed a word with sources in the graphics card business, who say AMD is planning to announce the new GPUs in October, with stock expected on the shelves in November.

When the new graphics cards hit the streets, the site also says the current line-up of Radeon HD 5000-series cards will see some price cuts.

Interestingly, it looks as though the site's sources could provide an insight into the shenanigans surrounding the chips' manufacturing process too. According to DigiTimes, AMD's next-gen GPUs were originally going to be fabricated on a 32nm process, with the codename Northern Islands.

However, this was all thrown up in the air when TSMC reportedly scrapped its 32nm plans and instead decided to go straight to a 28nm process. At this point, say the sources, AMD instead chose to go with a 40nm process with the new chips, which were given the "Southern Islands" codename.

Previous rumours suggest the "Southern Islands" chips, which are likely to use the Radeon HD 6000 nomenclature, are more of a refresh of the 5000-series, as opposed to a brand-new chip architecture.

Rather than squeezing in a few hundred more stream processors, which would be a tough job without the aforementioned die-shrink, the new GPUs are expected to reduce the power consumption and heat output compared with their predecessors.