According to industry sources ATI's R360, the so-called NV35 killer, has taped out and is speedily moving towards the retail shelves. The chip will aim to reclaim the speed crown for nVidia and hold the fort until the R420, or Loki, arrives. The fact that the R360, which will have core and memory running at 400 MHz, has taped out suggests that boards may be ready by as early as September.
Considering that the difference between the nVidia's FX 5900 Ultra and ATI's Radeon 9800 PRO is not that great as it is, it is very likely that an improved product will provide ATI with the speed crown, at least until nVidia unleashes its NV40 chip. The real fight will be to see if ATI will manage to produce the Loki before or at the same time nVidia introduce the NV40.
Whether you like one company or the other you will have to admit that this fight for the speed crown has become an extremely interesting one, with both nVidia and ATI trading blows at a frantic pace. Although sometimes ridiculous, this extreme competitiveness can only help consumers by lowering the price of cards faster as new ones are released.