It looks like ATI wants to go multi core and this time it can put more smaller cores on a single chip. You can expect that the high-end R700 might end up with more than four smaller cores that will shape up this card.
This is why R680, Radeon 3870 X2 is extremely important for ATI’s future, as it looks like that future is really multicore. We still don’t know if G100 uses the same approach, but we would not be surprised.
R700XT, the high-end version of the chip will use four or more smaller cores to reach the performance crown and, in this case, you need an excellent Crossfire, multi chip driver.
R680 is actually a warm-up product, as ATI will test the Crossfire X with two, three and four cores, and this will give them predictions about the future. R700 is still scheduled for middle of 2008.