The R600 could be considered as the second generation of the ATI Xenos GPU, which powers Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console. It features 48 Unified Shaders and fully supports DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0.
In addition, the R600 is the first GPU that integrates the Universal Video Decoding (UVD) engine for hardware video decoding, plus a 3D engine for rendering. According to AMD, this configuration offers a significantly higher performance, since the workload of CPU during play-back of HD video is transferred to the GPU and specifically the UVD engine itself. In addition the shaders are off-loaded since video decoding is not dependent on the 3D engine.
The R600 will me made at 65nm, according to industry sources. Both mainstream (RV610) and low-end versions (RV630) of the chip for notebooks are also expected later this June.