AMD and Nvidia typically hog the limelight in the graphics arena, but lest we forget, a company called S3 is still churning out GPUs. On Friday, S3 unveiled the latest addition to its Chrome Series graphics line, the Chrome 5000E-based eH1 designed for harsh environments and industrial grade systems.
"S3 Graphics continues to introduce new graphics technologies to the embedded market, adding a fanless, ultra low power, and feature-rich product to our growing portfolio of embedded solutions," said Dr. Ken Weng, GM for S3 Graphics. "Our new Chrome eH1 card makes PC grade product features accessible to the broader embedded arena, allowing our embedded partners to easily incorporate the very latest multimedia technologies in their product offerings."
Those multimedia technologies Weng speaks of include DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1, Open GL ES 2.0, OpenVG 1.1 (2D vector graphics), and HD video decoding courtesy of S3's ChromotionHD 2.0 video processor unit (VPU). The card also features DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA ports.
VIA this week was spotted at the Las Vegas Convention Center showing off its upcoming S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2, a dual-GPU add-in board "aimed at advanced, multi-display digital signage applications."
The 5400E x2 comes ready to support up to 8 simultaneous displays with up to 4 independent video streams at resolutions of up to 1080p. A wide variety of display modes are supported, including Span, Extended, and Clone view configurations. Other marketing bullets include H.264, VC-1, and WMV-HD hardware acceleration, and built-in Genlock support for synchronized source timing.
"VIA is delighted to work with S3 Graphics to bring unique digital signage embedded products to market, highlighting our prowess in delivering the very best in power-efficient, hi-def digital display technologies," said Daniel Wu, VP, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies.
VIA says it will have samples of the Chrome 5400E x2 available to ODM customers starting in Q2 2010.
On the outside, it would be easy to mistake the F88 clamshell netbook with Asus' Eee PC 1002HA, but appearance is about all the two have in common. Unlike the 1002HA, the F88 packs a VIA Nano processor (1.6GHz, 800MHz frontside bus) with S3's Chrome graphics and boasts 1080P playback on its 10.1-inch LED display.
Further distancing itself from the netbook-norm, the F88 comes configurable with up to 4GB of DDR2-667 memory and up to 500GB of hard drive storage. Not bad for a market used to seeing 1GB of memory and 160GB hard drives.
Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.3MP webcam, HD audio, multi-card reader, three USB ports, HDMI output, and a 6-cell battery.
There's a good chance the F88 will appear in rebadged form, though in the meantime, no word on price or availability.
Try to imagine where 3D gaming would be today if not for the graphics processing unit, or GPU. Without it, you wouldn't be tredging through the jungles of Crysis in all its visual splendor, nor would you be fending off endless hordes of fast-moving zombies at high resolutions. For that to happen, it takes a highly specialized chip designed for parallel processing to pull off the kinds of games you see today, the same ones that wouldn't be possible on a CPU alone. Going forward, GPU makers will try to extend the reliance on videocards to also include physics processing, video encoding/decoding, and other tasks that where once handled by the CPU.
It's pretty amazing when you think about how far graphics technology has come. To help you do that, we're going to take a look back at every major GPU release since the infancy of 3D graphics. Join us as we travel back in time and relive releases like 3dfx's Voodoo3 and S3's ViRGE lineup. This is one nostalgiac ride you don't want to miss!
S3 Graphics, a subsidiary of VIA and a player in the low end graphics market, has launched its next generation Chrome 500 series. S3 claims its new add-in cards offer up to a 30 percent performance increase while supporting Blu-ray playback, streaming HD video, DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 on both Windows and Linux operating systems.
"S3 Graphics has built upon the success of the Chrome 400 Series with another GPU line that fulfills user demand of a superior visual experience and product that extends beyond just graphics," said Dr. Ken Weng, GM for S3 Graphics. "Our latest Chrome 500 supports features that surpass those found in higher end products, like high quality HD video support. This truly is a power-efficient multimedia / multi-application processor that delivers."
S3's Chrome 530 GT is the first videocad to market from the new Chrome 500 series. The upgraded GPU makes a strong bid for HTPC enthusiasts with support for PiP Blu-ray playback, HDCP capable DVI-I and HDMI ports, and a low power draw rated at just 25W.
The Chrome 530 GT is available now direct from S3 Graphics for $45 and comes bundled with InterVideo WinDVD 8.
S3 Graphics, now a joint venture with VIA Technologies, will look to capitalize on the mini-notebook frenzy with a triple play of low wattage videocards under its Chrome 400 Ultra Low Power (ULP) mobile GPU series. The Chrome 430 ULP, 435 ULP, and 440 ULP all support DirectX 10.1, potentially making them competitive alternatives to ATI's line of GPUs. The company's ChromotionHD technology also comes as part of the package, allowing for high definition playback without stressing the CPU. S3 also says its new GPUs will process sophisticated algorithms and power control mechanisms to extend battery life.
On the lowest end, the 430 ULP sips less than 7 watts. While specifics weren't given for the two higher models, S3 claims the 435 ULP and 440 ULP will outperform competitor products by over 40 and 60 percent respectively.
S3 says its mobile graphics are available now, but didn't mention any notebook OEM customers other than Fujitsu.