For Immediate Release
Family of Products From S3 Delivers Fully-Featured 3D Graphics for as low as $40
Las Vegas, NV -- November 13, 1995 -- S3 Incorporated (NASDAQ: SIII) today introduced the first two members of its new ViRGE (Video and Rendering Graphics Engine) family, the ViRGE 64-bit graphics and video accelerators. Based on the company's advanced new S3d architecture, ViRGETM and ViRGE/VX TM are the first single-chip products to integrate 3D rendering, 2D GUI and video acceleration with a RAMDAC and clock synthesizer. With a rich feature set, affordable pricing and wide industry acceptance, the ViRGE family is the first to enable 3D graphics on mainstream PCs.
Today, S3 also announced that eleven add-in-card manufacturers, in addition to leading motherboard and systems manufacturers, have publicly committed support for the ViRGE and ViRGE/VX products. Typically, new technologies for PCs are adopted first by add-in card manufacturers. As technologies mature, they are adopted by system manufacturers as well. S3 is working closely with major system companies to incorporate ViRGE accelerators in their products.
S3 expects that consumers should see affordable 3D graphics add- in-cards based on the ViRGE family in the first quarter of 1996, while system vendors are expected to follow suit starting in the second quarter of 1996 with 3D-enabled motherboards and systems. More than ten major game developers and software publishers have already agreed to support ViRGE-based PC platforms as well, offering 1996 home PC consumers a wide variety of realistic, interactive 3D games titles. This wide base of support helps to establish S3's ViRGE family as the industry's first truly mainstream PC 3D solution.
The high level of integration, coupled with a production-proven 0.5 micron manufacturing process, allows S3 to deliver the rich ViRGE family feature set and performance at prices starting as low as $40. S3 believes this represents the lowest published price in the industry today for 3D acceleration with this list of features. Based on a bill-of-materials analysis, the ViRGE family pricing is expected to translate to the availability of full-featured 3D add-in-cards starting around $200. System costs for the end user are expected to increase by no more than a minimal $50 in the second half of 1996 for PCs incorporating ViRGE.
"Until now, 3D graphics on the PC have been neither realistic nor
affordable", said Neal Margulis, vice
president, home and advanced systems, S3 Incorporated. "Currently
available rendering engines are either
underwhelming in their 3D rendering capabilities or have been priced out
of the mainstream. S3's new ViRGE
family meets and surpasses the expectations of the PC market by
delivering users rich, realistic 3D rendering.
Combined with our affordable price points and wide industry support, the
ViRGE family will enable 3D
graphics on mainstream PCs and will enable the PC to become the platform
of choice for
electronic game-play in the home."
S3d Technology: Rich Feature Set Delivers Clearly Visible Benefits
Other advanced features of the S3d engine include compressed texture formats which lower RAM requirements and increase texture and image quality. The Z-buffering feature speeds up the removal of hidden surfaces, a common 3D operation. In addition, S3's MUX buffering (patent pending) feature allows for Z-buffering support without incurring the cost of dedicated Z-buffer memory.
ViRGE: Targeted for the Mainstream Home PC Market
ViRGE includes all the multimedia capabilities of S3's successful Trio64V+ accelerator. The Streams ProcessorTM provides video acceleration features including stretching and color space conversion that are required for full-screen video playback with both software CODECs (COders and DECoders such as Indeo, Cinepak, et al) and hardware MPEG-1 sources. Low cost, full motion 30 frames-per-second video and audio decoding are enabled via S3's Scenic HighwayTM connection to the Scenic/MX2 TM MPEG-1 audio and video decoder. Live video is supported as well by the ability to connect with popular NTSC and PAL video decoders.
The ViRGE accelerator accommodates industry-standard local bus support through a glueless PCI 2.1 bus interface with PCI bus mastering for display list processing and video capture support. In addition, the ViRGE accelerator supports a glueless VESA VL-bus interface and provides complete PC/Monitor Plug and Play Support.
S3 provides support for the ViRGE family with all major 3D APIs, including OpenGL, Microsoft Direct3D and RealityLab, as well as Argonaut BRender and Criterion Renderware. Drivers are provided for all major operating systems such as Windows95®, Windows 3.1, Windows NT® and OS/2® 3.0 Warp®.
Samples of ViRGE are available now in a 208-pin Plastic Quad
Flat Pack (PQFP), with production
shipments planned for Q1 1996. Pricing starts at $40 each in volumes of
ViRGE/VX: Targeted for Arcade-level Games, PC-based CAD, and Large
ViRGE/VX is offered for $65 each in 10,000-piece quantities. The product is packaged in a 388-pin Plastic Ball Grid Array (PBGA) package and is expected to sample before the end of calendar 1995. Production is expected to ramp in Q1 1996.
S3 and True Acceleration are registered trademarks of S3 Incorporated.
S3 corporate Logo, S3 On Board and the S3 On Board Logo, No Compromise
Integration, No Compromise Acceleration, Innovations in Acceleration,
Cooperative Acceleration Architecture, Streams Processor, Scenic
DuoView, Galileo, SDAC, MIC, Native-MPEG, S3 801, S3 805, S3 PS805, S3
805i, S3 928, S3 928PCI, Aurora64V+, Trio, Trio32, Trio64, Trio64V+,
Trio64UV+, Scenic/MX1, Scenic/MX2, Sonic/AD, ViRGE, ViRGE/VX, Vision64,
Vision864, Vision964, Vision/VA, Vision866, Vision868 and Vision968 are
trademarks of S3 Incorporated. Other notations of and are trademarks of
their respective firms. All tradenames referenced are the service mark,
trademark, or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers.