We have heard from several sources that the next generation Radeon HD 6000 series, also known under the Northern Islands codename is about to launch in late October time.
This means that this time ATI plans to launch in Q4 2010 which is closer to actually shipping time. Last year AMD launched Radeon HD 5000 series in last days of Q3 2009, but it started shipping in Q4 2009.
All the reports indicate that the new generation is actually a tweaked up design of Radeon HD 5000 and as far as we know, ATI didn’t dramatically improve the tessellation performance. As you probably know by now tessellation is the only big advantage that Nvidia has over DirectX 11 Radeons. The whole generation is naturally faster than the Radeon HD 5000.
The main press event is supposed to take place in glorious Los Angeles in week 43, that starts October 18th, but this is something that we have yet to confirm.