While there are no details on exactly what the new GeForce 9800 series is going to bring to the party in terms of features and performance, the word
has come down that the first chips have now officially taped out.
The 9800 isn't the only chip that's allegedly taped out, but sadly there isn't much in the way of details on what else has come back. Do note that just because a chip has taped out doesn't neccesarily mean that it is ready for production as there could be further revisions to do anything from add features/performance to resolve potential functionality issues.
“Knowing Graphzilla's brilliant record of accomplishment and 100 day "tape-out to retail shelf" policy, the new GeForce should debut in late October or early November. However, our sources told us that company is now devoting key time to fixing problems with the existing GeForce 8000 series of cards, caused by "buggy chips", as one source put it. This might impair the performance of initial drivers.”