Radeon R100 series

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

ATI Radeon 7000 series
Radeon 7500 LE card (Creative Labs Branded)
Release dateApril 1, 2000; 24 years ago (April 1, 2000)
CodenameRage 6C
ArchitectureRadeon R100
Transistors30M 180 nm (R100)
30M 180 nm (RV100)
Entry-level7000, VE, LE
Mid-range7200 DDR, 7200 SDR
7500 LE
API support
DirectXDirect3D 7.0
OpenGLOpenGL 1.3 (T&L) [1][2]
PredecessorRage series
SuccessorRadeon 8000 series
Support status
Radeon R100-based chipsets
CPU supportedMobile Athlon XP (320M IGP)
Mobile Duron (320M IGP)
Pentium 4-M and mobile Pentium 4 (340M IGP, 7000 IGP)
Socket supportedSocket A, Socket 563 (AMD)
Socket 478 (Intel)
Desktop / mobile chipsets
Performance segment7000 IGP
Mainstream segment320 IGP, 320M IGP
340 IGP, 340M IGP
Value segment320 IGP, 320M IGP (AMD)
340 IGP, 340M IGP (Intel)
Release date(s)March 13, 2002 (300/300M IGP)
March 13, 2003 (7000 IGP)
SuccessorRadeon R200 series

The Radeon R100 is the first generation of Radeon graphics chips from ATI Technologies. The line features 3D acceleration based upon Direct3D 7.0 and OpenGL 1.3, and all but the entry-level versions offloading host geometry calculations to a hardware transform and lighting (T&L) engine, a major improvement in features and performance compared to the preceding Rage design. The processors also include 2D GUI acceleration, video acceleration, and multiple display outputs. "R100" refers to the development codename of the initially released GPU of the generation. It is the basis for a variety of other succeeding products.



The first-generation Radeon GPU was launched in 2000, and was initially code-named Rage 6 (later R100), as the successor to ATI's aging Rage 128 Pro which was unable to compete with the GeForce 256. The card also had been described as Radeon 256 in the months leading up to its launch, possibly to draw comparisons with the competing Nvidia card, although the moniker was dropped with the launch of the final product.

The R100 was built on a 180 nm semiconductor manufacturing process. Like the GeForce, the Radeon R100 featured a hardware transform and lighting (T&L) engine to perform geometry calculations, freeing up the host computer's CPU. In 3D rendering the processor can write 2 pixels to the framebuffer and sample 3 texture maps per pixel per clock. This is commonly referred to as a 2×3 configuration, or a dual-pipeline design with 3 TMUs per pipe. As for Radeon's competitors, the GeForce 256 is 4×1, GeForce2 GTS is 4×2 and 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 is a 2×1+2×1 SLI design. Unfortunately, the third texture unit did not get much use in games during the card's lifetime because software was not frequently performing more than dual texturing.

In terms of rendering, its "Pixel Tapestry" architecture allowed for Environment Mapped Bump Mapping (EMBM) and Dot Product (Dot3) Bump Mapping support, offering the most complete Bump Mapping support at the time along with the older Emboss method.[3] Radeon also introduced a new memory bandwidth optimization and overdraw reduction technology called HyperZ. It basically improves the overall efficiency of the 3D rendering processes. Consisting of 3 different functions, it allows the Radeon to perform very competitively compared to competing designs with higher fillrates and bandwidth on paper.

ATI produced a real-time demo for their new card, to showcase its new features. The Radeon's Ark demo presents a science-fiction environment with heavy use of features such as multiple texture layers for image effects and detail. Among the effects are environment-mapped bump mapping, detail textures, glass reflections, mirrors, realistic water simulation, light maps, texture compression, planar reflective surfaces, and portal-based visibility.[4]

In terms of performance, Radeon scores lower than the GeForce2 in most benchmarks, even with HyperZ activated. The performance difference was especially noticeable in 16-bit color, where both the GeForce2 GTS and Voodoo 5 5500 were far ahead. However, the Radeon could close the gap and occasionally outperform its fastest competitor, the GeForce2 GTS, in 32-bit color.

Aside from the new 3D hardware, Radeon also introduced per-pixel video-deinterlacing to ATI's HDTV-capable MPEG-2 engine.

R100's pixel shaders[edit]

R100-based GPUs have forward-looking programmable shading capability in their pipelines; however, the chips are not flexible enough to support the Microsoft Direct3D specification for Pixel Shader 1.1. A forum post by an ATI engineer in 2001 clarified this:

...prior to the final release of DirectX 8.0, Microsoft decided that it was better to expose the RADEON's and GeForce{2}'s extended multitexture capabilities via the extensions to SetTextureStageState() instead of via the pixel shader interface. There are various practical technical reasons for this. Much of the same math that can be done with pixel shaders can be done via SetTextureStageState(), especially with the enhancements to SetTextureStageState() in DirectX 8.0. At the end of the day, this means that DirectX 8.0 exposes 99% of what the RADEON can do in its pixel pipe without adding the complexity of a "0.5" pixel shader interface.

Additionally, you have to understand that the phrase "shader" is an incredibly ambiguous graphics term. Basically, we hardware manufacturers started using the word "shader" a lot once we were able to do per-pixel dot products (i.e. the RADEON / GF generation of chips). Even earlier than that, "ATI_shader_op" was our multitexture OpenGL extension on Rage 128 (which was replaced by the multivendor EXT_texture_env_combine extension). Quake III has ".shader" files it uses to describe how materials are lit. These are just a few examples of the use of the word shader in the game industry (nevermind the movie production industry which uses many different types of shaders, including those used by Pixar's RenderMan).

With the final release of DirectX 8.0, the term "shader" has become more crystallized in that it is actually used in the interface that developers use to write their programs rather than just general "industry lingo." In DirectX 8.0, there are two versions of pixel shaders: 1.0 and 1.1. (Future releases of DirectX will have 2.0 shaders, 3.0 shaders and so on.) Because of what I stated earlier, RADEON doesn't support either of the pixel shader versions in DirectX 8.0. Some of you have tweaked the registry and gotten the driver to export a 1.0 pixel shader version number to 3DMark2001. This causes 3DMark2001 to think it can run certain tests. Surely, we shouldn't crash when you do this, but you are forcing the (leaked and/or unsupported) driver down a path it isn't intended to ever go. The chip doesn't support 1.0 or 1.1 pixel shaders, therefore you won't see correct rendering even if we don't crash. The fact that that registry key exists indicates that we did some experiments in the driver, not that we are half way done implementing pixel shaders on RADEON. DirectX 8.0's 1.0 and 1.1 pixel shaders are not supported by RADEON and never will be. The silicon just can't do what is required to support 1.0 or 1.1 shaders. This is also true of GeForce and GeForce2.


Radeon DDR box (R100)
Die shot of the R100
Radeon 7500 (RV200)
Radeon RV100 DDR
Die shot of the RV100


The first versions of the Radeon (R100) were the Radeon DDR, available in Spring 2000 with 32 MB or 64 MB configurations; the 64 MB card had a slightly faster clock speed and added VIVO (video-in video-out) capability. The core speed was 183Mhz and the 5.5 ns DDR SDRAM memory clock speed was 183 MHz DDR (366 MHz effective). The R100 introduced HyperZ, an early culling technology (maybe inspired by the Tile Rendering present in St Microelectronics PowerVR chips) that became the way to go in graphic evolution and generation by generation rendering optimization, and can be considerend the first non tile rendering-based (and so DX7 compatible) card to use a Z-Buffer optimization. These cards were produced until mid-2001, when they were essentially replaced by the Radeon 7500 (RV200).

A slower and short-lived Radeon SDR (with 32 MB SDRAM memory) was added in mid-2000 to compete with the GeForce2 MX.

Also in 2000, an OEM-only Radeon LE 32MB DDR arrived. Compared to the regular Radeon DDR from ATI, the LE is produced by Athlon Micro from Radeon GPUs that did not meet spec and originally intended for the Asian OEM market. The card runs at a lower 143 MHz clock rate for both RAM and GPU, and its Hyper Z functionality has been disabled. Despite these handicaps, the Radeon LE was competitive with other contemporaries such as the GeForce 2 MX and Radeon SDR. Unlike its rivals, however, the LE has considerable performance potential, as is possible to enable HyperZ through a system registry alteration, plus there is considerable overclocking room. Later drivers do not differentiate the Radeon LE from other Radeon R100 cards and the HyperZ hardware is enabled by default, though there may be visual anomalies on cards with HyperZ hardware that is defective.[5]

In 2001, a short-lived Radeon R100 with 64 MB SDR was released as the Radeon 7200. After this and all older R100 Radeon cards were discontinued, the R100 series was subsequently known as the Radeon 7200, in keeping with ATI's new naming scheme.


A budget variant of the R100 hardware was created and called the Radeon VE, later known as the Radeon 7000 in 2001 when ATI re-branded its products.

RV100 has only one pixel-pipeline, no hardware T&L, a 64-bit memory bus, and no HyperZ. But it did add HydraVision dual-monitor support and integrated a second RAMDAC into the core (for Hydravision).

From the 3D performance standpoint, the Radeon VE did not fare well against the GeForce2 MX of the same era, though its multi-display support was clearly superior to the GeForce2 MX, however. The Matrox G450 has the best dual-display support out of the GPUs but the slowest 3D performance.

RV100 was the basis for the Mobility Radeon notebook solution.


The Radeon 7500 (RV200) is basically a die-shrink of the R100 in a new 150 nm manufacturing process. The increased density and various tweaks to the architecture allowed the GPU to function at higher clock speeds. It also allowed the card to operate with asynchronous clock operation, whereas the original R100 was always clocked synchronously with the RAM. It was ATI's first Direct3D 7-compliant GPU to include dual-monitor support (Hydravision).[6]

The Radeon 7500 launched in the second half of 2001 alongside the Radeon 8500 (R200). It used an accelerated graphics port (AGP) 4x interface. Around the time that the Radeon 8500 and 7500 were announced, rival Nvidia released its GeForce 3 Ti500 and Ti200, the 8500 and Ti500 are direct competitors but the 7500 and Ti200 are not.

The desktop Radeon 7500 board frequently came clocked at 290 MHz core and 230 MHz RAM. It competed with the GeForce2 Ti and later on, the GeForce4 MX440.

Radeon Feature Matrix[edit]

The following table shows features of AMD/ATI's GPUs (see also: List of AMD graphics processing units).

Name of GPU series Wonder Mach 3D Rage Rage Pro Rage 128 R100 R200 R300 R400 R500 R600 RV670 R700 Evergreen Northern
Vega Navi 1x Navi 2x Navi 3x
Released 1986 1991 Apr
Jun 2016, Apr 2017, Aug 2019 Jun 2017, Feb 2019 Jul
Marketing Name Wonder Mach 3D
HD 2000
HD 3000
HD 4000
HD 5000
HD 6000
HD 7000
RX Vega, Radeon VII
RX 5000
RX 6000
RX 7000
AMD support Ended Current
Kind 2D 3D
Instruction set architecture Not publicly known TeraScale instruction set GCN instruction set RDNA instruction set
Microarchitecture TeraScale 1
TeraScale 2
TeraScale 2

up to 68xx
TeraScale 3

in 69xx [7][8]
GCN 1st
GCN 2nd
GCN 3rd
GCN 4th
GCN 5th
Type Fixed pipeline[a] Programmable pixel & vertex pipelines Unified shader model
Direct3D 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.1 9.0
11 (9_2)
11 (9_2)
11 (9_3)
11 (10_0)
11 (10_1)
11 (11_0) 11 (11_1)
12 (11_1)
11 (12_0)
12 (12_0)
11 (12_1)
12 (12_1)
11 (12_1)
12 (12_2)
Shader model 1.4 2.0+ 2.0b 3.0 4.0 4.1 5.0 5.1 5.1
OpenGL 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1[b][9] 3.3 4.5 (on Linux: 4.5 (Mesa 3D 21.0))[10][11][12][c] 4.6 (on Linux: 4.6 (Mesa 3D 20.0))
Vulkan 1.0
(Win 7+ or Mesa 17+)
1.2 (Adrenalin 20.1.2, Linux Mesa 3D 20.0)
1.3 (GCN 4 and above (with Adrenalin 22.1.2, Mesa 22.0))
OpenCL Close to Metal 1.1 (no Mesa 3D support) 1.2+ (on Linux: 1.1+ (no Image support on clover, with by rustiCL) with Mesa 3D, 1.2+ on GCN 1.Gen) 2.0+ (Adrenalin driver on Win7+)
(on Linux ROCM, Linux Mesa 3D 1.2+ (no Image support in clover, but in rustiCL with Mesa 3D, 2.0+ and 3.0 with AMD drivers or AMD ROCm), 5th gen: 2.2 win 10+ and Linux RocM 5.0+
2.2+ and 3.0 windows 8.1+ and Linux ROCM 5.0+ (Mesa 3D rustiCL 1.2+ and 3.0 (2.1+ and 2.2+ wip))[13][14][15]
HSA / ROCm Yes ?
Video decoding ASIC Avivo/UVD UVD+ UVD 2 UVD 2.2 UVD 3 UVD 4 UVD 4.2 UVD 5.0 or 6.0 UVD 6.3 UVD 7 [16][d] VCN 2.0 [16][d] VCN 3.0 [17] VCN 4.0
Video encoding ASIC VCE 1.0 VCE 2.0 VCE 3.0 or 3.1 VCE 3.4 VCE 4.0 [16][d]
Fluid Motion [e] No Yes No ?
Power saving ? PowerPlay PowerTune PowerTune & ZeroCore Power ?
TrueAudio Via dedicated DSP Via shaders
FreeSync 1
HDCP[f] ? 1.4 2.2 2.3 [18]
PlayReady[f] 3.0 No 3.0
Supported displays[g] 1–2 2 2–6 ?
Max. resolution ? 2–6 ×
2–6 ×
4096×2160 @ 30 Hz
2–6 ×
5120×2880 @ 60 Hz
3 ×
7680×4320 @ 60 Hz [19]

7680×4320 @ 60 Hz PowerColor

@165 HZ

/drm/radeon[h] Yes
/drm/amdgpu[h] Experimental [20] Optional [21] Yes
  1. ^ The Radeon 100 Series has programmable pixel shaders, but do not fully comply with DirectX 8 or Pixel Shader 1.0. See article on R100's pixel shaders.
  2. ^ R300, R400 and R500 based cards do not fully comply with OpenGL 2+ as the hardware does not support all types of non-power of two (NPOT) textures.
  3. ^ OpenGL 4+ compliance requires supporting FP64 shaders and these are emulated on some TeraScale chips using 32-bit hardware.
  4. ^ a b c The UVD and VCE were replaced by the Video Core Next (VCN) ASIC in the Raven Ridge APU implementation of Vega.
  5. ^ Video processing for video frame rate interpolation technique. In Windows it works as a DirectShow filter in your player. In Linux, there is no support on the part of drivers and / or community.
  6. ^ a b To play protected video content, it also requires card, operating system, driver, and application support. A compatible HDCP display is also needed for this. HDCP is mandatory for the output of certain audio formats, placing additional constraints on the multimedia setup.
  7. ^ More displays may be supported with native DisplayPort connections, or splitting the maximum resolution between multiple monitors with active converters.
  8. ^ a b DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) is a component of the Linux kernel. AMDgpu is the Linux kernel module. Support in this table refers to the most current version.


Competing chipsets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mesamatrix". mesamatrix.net. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  2. ^ "RadeonFeature". X.Org Foundation. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  3. ^ "Pixel Tapestry Architecture - ATI Radeon 256 Preview".
  4. ^ "Alex Vlachos - Computer Graphics".
  5. ^ "ATI Radeon LE 32MB DDR".
  6. ^ "OC3D Forums".
  7. ^ "AMD Radeon HD 6900 (AMD Cayman) series graphics cards". HWlab. hw-lab.com. December 19, 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2022. Retrieved August 23, 2022. New VLIW4 architecture of stream processors allowed to save area of each SIMD by 10%, while performing the same compared to previous VLIW5 architecture
  8. ^ "GPU Specs Database". TechPowerUp. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  9. ^ "NPOT Texture (OpenGL Wiki)". Khronos Group. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  10. ^ "AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta". AMD. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  11. ^ "Mesamatrix". mesamatrix.net. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  12. ^ "RadeonFeature". X.Org Foundation. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  13. ^ "AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Specs". TechPowerUp. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "AMD Launches The Radeon PRO W7500/W7600 RDNA3 GPUs". Phoronix. 3 August 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  15. ^ "AMD Radeon Pro 5600M Grafikkarte". TopCPU.net (in German). Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  16. ^ a b c Killian, Zak (March 22, 2017). "AMD publishes patches for Vega support on Linux". Tech Report. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Larabel, Michael (September 15, 2020). "AMD Radeon Navi 2 / VCN 3.0 Supports AV1 Video Decoding". Phoronix. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Edmonds, Rich (February 4, 2022). "ASUS Dual RX 6600 GPU review: Rock-solid 1080p gaming with impressive thermals". Windows Central. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  19. ^ "Radeon's next-generation Vega architecture" (PDF). Radeon Technologies Group (AMD). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Larabel, Michael (December 7, 2016). "The Best Features of the Linux 4.9 Kernel". Phoronix. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "AMDGPU". Retrieved December 29, 2023.

External links[edit]