Talking about mini cores and putting more chips together brings us back to the R600. The R600 is nothing more than two times the RV630 or four times the RV610 chip.
The only key difference between these chips is the memory controller. The RV630 has 32 Unified Shaders while the RV610 has 16 only. No need to panic as RV630 has 160 stream processors just as Nvidia while the RV610 has 80. However they work completely different than Nvidia's.
R700 will be the first real mini core, but even the R600 is made out of blocks. So R600 has four blocks and each of them have 16 Unified Shader units, while RV630 has two blocks with total of 32 Shaders and so on.
Compared to CPU dual or quad core marchitecture, graphic is much easier. Graphic calculations are almost always parallel, so a 64 Unified Shader chip can be seen as 64 small processors rendering and calculating together at the same time. We will do another part to explain some more inside information about the R600 stream processor marchitecture, but be prepared to read some complex information.