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S3's Trio3D Sets a New Standard for Business Desktop Productivity in the Mainstream Market
Combining the Industry's Highest 2D Graphics Performance with Advanced 3D and Video Capabilities, S3's Trio3D Brings New Productivity Capabilities to Corporate and SOHO PC Users

Santa Clara, Calif. -- November 3, 1997 -- The world's largest supplier of graphics, video and multimedia accelerators, S3 Incorporated (Nasdaq: SIII) announced today the newest member of its Trio® family of business acceleration solutions, the Trio3D accelerator. Tailored to the needs of corporate and SOHO PC users, S3's Trio3D accelerator delivers the industry's highest 2D graphics performance, advanced video conferencing/video training capabilities and "business-ready" 3D graphics. Part of S3's complete business solution, the Trio3D accelerator provides the next-generation hardware platform for S3's 3D-based productivity applications announced last week.

"Our research indicates a continued strong demand for solid 2D capabilities, especially in the business segment. By providing higher 2D graphics performance without compromising on multimedia capabilities such as video and 3D graphics, S3's Trio3D has the right set of features for next-generation business graphics solutions," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie & Associates in Tiburon, CA, a leading research firm tracking digital multimedia technology. "More importantly, S3 delivered this feature set within a hardware/software compatible configuration and well within PC manufacturers' cost constraints.

"Leveraging the strength of its Trio family of products -- the single-largest installed base of graphics accelerators in the world -- S3 established itself as the leader in graphics solutions for the business desktop PC market," said Mike Nell, vice president and general manager of S3's Desktop Graphics Group. "With the launch of Trio3D, S3 is continuing this leadership role by providing new hardware and software capabilities focused on meeting the productivity needs of business users."

Industry Leading 2D Graphics Acceleration

As productivity applications continue to evolve -- becoming more and more data intensive -- end-user demand for higher performance 2D graphics acceleration will continue to increase.

"Each new generation of business productivity applications has placed a significantly higher level of demand on the graphics accelerator," said Dean McCarron, principal at Mercury Research in Scottsdale, AZ. "Looking forward to the launch of future productivity applications, such as Microsoft's Office'98, this trend will likely continue. As applications continue to manage and present more data to an end user, they will require more graphics horsepower."

Designed to meet the needs of tomorrow's productivity applications, S3's Trio3D features a newly developed 2D graphics engine that delivers the highest level of 2D graphics performance available for the mainstream PC market. Key features of the Trio3D's 2D engine include a 128-bit pipelined architecture, support for 125MHz SGRAM memory and S3's Burst Command Interface -- a proprietary protocol technology that works in conjunction with either the PCI or AGP bus to increase the command and data efficiency of the Trio3D architecture.

Advanced Video Capabilities

With features such as high quality video manipulation (blending/stretching/scaling) and the ability to simultaneously accelerate dual video windows, S3's Trio3D provides an optimal hardware platform for the emergence of advanced video conferencing and video training applications on mainstream business PCs.

The Trio3D is the first accelerator to fully implement the industry standard Video Interface Port (VIP) bus which provides a dedicated interface from the graphics accelerator to digital video devices and streamlines the movement of this data versus current PCI bus solutions. S3's Trio3D also allows for a low-cost, easy-to-implement interface to third party multimedia peripherals such as video cameras, TV- tuners and DVD/MPEG-2 decoders

"Business-Ready" 3D Graphics

Trio3D's "business-ready" 3D feature set delivers the right mix of 3D performance and quality needed for emerging mainstream 3D productivity applications.

Based on S3's widely adopted S3d architecture, the Trio3D's rendering features include MIP mapping, tri-linear filtering and perspective correction of textures to deliver images that are free of visual artifacts such as "sparkle" and "jaggies." Other features include transparency for enabling realistic rendering of glass, water and plastic objects; depth cueing to enable the rendering of real-world environments; and Z-buffering to speed the removal of hidden surfaces for improved performance and visual quality.

S3's Trio3D also provides support for Intel's Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) standard to enable higher levels of visual realism while helping to contain solution costs for memory intensive 3D applications.

S3's Software Productivity Program

S3's Software Productivity Program leverages the capabilities of S3's advanced multimedia hardware to provide software solutions that allow professionals and consumers alike to work more effectively. Moving beyond a traditional 2D interface, products within S3's Productivity Program allow users to better find, convey and understand information.

S3 last week announced the following products in its Software Productivity Program:

  • LiveWork3D -- Co-designed by S3 and TGS, LiveWork3D enables users to more effectively convey information through the easy addition of real-time, interactive 3D content to many of today's most popular productivity applications.
  • VisiDrive3D -- Jointly specified and developed by S3 and InXight, a spin-off of Xerox PARC, VisiDrive3D is the industry's first 3D visualization tool for PC file systems, allowing users to better manage and understand information contained on their local or network drives.

Software/Hardware Compatibility

Available in either a 208 Plastic Quad Flat Pack (PQFP) or 336 Ball Grid Array (BGA) package, the Trio3D provides add-in card, motherboard and PC manufacturers with a pin compatible hardware upgrade path from existing Trio and ViRGE®-based designs as well as to future S3 3D accelerators. With this hardware compatibility, manufacturers can leverage their investments in engineering by using a single design across multiple product lines. In addition, by taking advantage of the Trio3D's software compatibility with previous generations of S3 products, the Trio3D enables faster time-to-market for manufacturers.

Pricing and Availability

The Trio3D is sampling now and will be in volume production in the first half of 1998. In quantities of 10,000, the Trio3D will be available for $22 USD.

About S3

S3 Incorporated, founded in 1989 with headquarters in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest supplier of multimedia acceleration hardware and its associated software1. S3 is committed to applying its expertise in audio, video, graphics and platform acceleration to create innovative and affordable products for the home, desktop and mobile markets. The company's vision for the future is to also bring a rich, consumer electronics-type experience to PC users -- integrating the best available consumer multimedia technologies into the mainstream PC platform.

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Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to risk and uncertainties, including the impact of competitive products and pricing and of alternative technological advances, market acceptance of the company's and its customers' new products, and other risks detailed from time to time in S3's SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1996.

S3, Trio and ViRGE are registered trademarks of S3 Incorporated. The S3 corporate logo is a trademarks of S3 Incorporated. Other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. All third party quotes and product information are furnished by the respective companies.


1 Sources: Dataquest (San Jose, CA), In-Stat (Scottsdale, AZ), Jon Peddie Associates (Tiburon, CA), Mercury Research (Scottsdale, AZ)

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