VideoLogic Vivid!XS™ Hardcore Graphics Accelerator

VideoLogic Systems - a division of Imagination Technologies - has today announced the VideoLogic Vivid!XS, its first performance graphics add-in card based on the new PowerVR KYRO II™ graphics processor. The 32MB Vivid!XS will ship in April 2001, with a RRP price of £85 ex. VAT.

The VideoLogic Vivid!XS is a fully featured, high performance graphics card for gamers at an affordable price with blazing games performance, future proof technology, full support for industry-standard game APIs like Microsoft® Direct3D™ and OpenGL™, a fast 128-bit 2D engine, hardware video playback, TV output and DVD decode acceleration.

Kevin Dale, president, VideoLogic Systems, says: “Vivid!XS is a high-performance successor to the award winning Vivid! graphics board. For high-intensity gaming Vivid!XS provides segment leading performance at a very affordable cost with an enormous effective fill rate, intense scene complexity and all with the dazzling visual quality of full 32-bit rendering.”

Vivid!XS features stunning 3D effects including environment mapped bump mapping, 8-layer multi-texturing, DXTC texture compression, pixel-perfect full scene anti-aliasing (FSAA), superior colour precision via 32-bit Internal True Colour™, alpha blending, advanced texture sampling and filtering modes and specular highlights.

Vivid!XS’ PowerVR technology thrives on complex 3D games - its effective fillrate actually increasing as the games gets more complex, drawing increasingly ‘deep’ and complete 3D worlds. At an average image depth complexity of four (typical of new 3D games) Vivid!XS provides an effective fill rate of 1.4gigapixels per second. Vivid!XS includes 32mb of high performance SDRAM memory and its PowerVR KYRO II graphics processor has support for resolutions up to 2048 x 1536, 175MHz clock-speed, 2X AGP support, and over 12 million fully featured polygons per second.

Vivid!XS is based on the KYRO II processor from STMicroelectronics and designed by PowerVR Technologies (a division of Imagination Technologies).

Tile Based Rendering

VideoLogic’s Vivid!XS utilizes patented PowerVR Tile Based Rendering to avoid memory bottlenecks and deliver state-of-the-art image quality and stunning 3D graphics performance, with crisp 2D graphics, studio quality video playback, and DVD decode support.

Hidden surface removal identifies surfaces that are not visible in the final scene and discards them before the scene is textured, lit and shaded. The resulting deferred texturing eliminates much of the redundant processing performed by conventional 3D systems. Vivid!XS’ combination of tile-based rendering and deferred texturing makes extremely efficient use of memory bandwidth, typically giving three times the performance of conventional 3D accelerators with comparable memory bandwidth.

TV output

Vivid!XS can connect to any television, VCR or projector to display games and DVD movies in full-screen format or tape game sequences and videos for digital editing.

Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA)

Vivid!XS can implement both 2X and 4X high quality pixel-perfect Full Scene Anti-Aliasing. Full Scene Anti-Aliasing delivers a significant improvement in visual quality by using a high data resolution image and scaling that image to the display resolution. The result is smoother, more realistic graphics at low resolutions.

Superior Colour Precision - 32-bit Internal True Colour™

All of Vivid!XS’ pixel operations are rendered on chip at full 32-bit Internal True Colour resolution, maintaining the best possible image quality irrespective of the number of image layers or frame buffer bit depth. When operating in 16bpp frame buffer, Vivid!XS avoids the colour banding or grainy effects seen on traditional 3D hardware to give best game performance without sacrificing visual quality. Internal True Colour also saves memory bandwidth whatever the colour depth, thus enabling Vivid!XS to provide class-leading performance in 32bpp modes.

Realistic Environments Using Unique 8-Layer Multitexturing

Vivid!XS fully supports 8-layer multitexturing, significantly improving on the dual or triple texturing capabilities of traditional accelerators. With its support of multiple texture layers, Vivid!XS allows more detailed backgrounds, realistically lit models, and more plausible environments to be rendered. When compared with traditional accelerators, Vivid!XS’ 8-layer multitexturing results in significant performance and quality improvements.

Direct3D Environment Mapped Bump Mapping

Vivid!XS provides efficient Direct3D Environment Mapped Bump Mapping, which adds significant realism to 3D rendered scenes by allowing the developer to create the illusion of depth on a surface. Vivid! XS’ Environment Mapped Bump Mapping uses per pixel operations to represent detail on much larger polygons. As Vivid!XS’ Environment Mapped Bump Mapping is fully Direct3D compliant, developers are able to use it to create a wide range of surface texturing effects including making metal, plastic, rubber, or other objects look real.

Future Proofing

As the depth complexity of games continues to increase other graphics cards bought today will begin to slow down, delivering much lower performance scores on future games than they do on current software. Because Vivid!XS’ PowerVR technology is not slowed down by increasing depth complexity Vivid!XS will still provide excellent performance on the games of tomorrow.

Compatibility and Support

Vivid!XS fully meets the requirements of PC 99A. Vivid!XS ships with high-performance drivers for Microsoft Windows 95/98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 operating systems and accelerated video and 3D drivers for DirectDraw, Direct3D and OpenGL (No Direct3D in NT 4.0).

PowerVR Tools provide control panel utilities for screen resize and adjustment, refresh rate selection, gamma correction, TV control, 3D feature selection and optimisation, customer support and diagnostics information.

The Vivid!XS retail package also includes the latest version of InterVideo’s award-winning, fully-featured WinDVD 2000 software for high-quality software DVD playback.

Other Vivid!XS features include a fast 128-bit 2D engine, hardware video playback and DVD decode assistance, AGP 2.0 Interface supporting AGP 1x and 2x with SBA for host based textures, a 128-bit SDRAM interface and integrated palette DAC.

Vivid!XS is backed up by the very best in free lifetime support including: technical support hotlines; Internet based support; and a five year hardware warranty.

3D Features

  • Effective fill rates increase with 3D complexity (1.4 gigapixels at a depth complexity of four)
  • Over 12 million fully featured polygons per second
  • STMicroelectronics’ PowerVR KYRO II processor with tile-based rendering, hidden surface removal and deferred texturing
  • Twin high performance texturing and shading pipelines (2 trilinear pixels per clock)
  • Full triangle setup (hidden surface removal, shading and texturing)
  • 8-layer multi-texturing support
  • Internal True Colour™ 32-bit ARGB internal rendering and layer blending
  • 32-bit Z/stencil buffer
  • Direct3D environmental bump mapping
  • RGB Gouraud shading and specular highlights
  • Bilinear, trilinear and anisotropic texture filtering
  • Colour key and alpha blended textures
  • Table and vertex fog
  • Texture compression
  • Full scene anti-aliasing
  • DirectX flexible vertex format support
  • 128-bit GUI accelerator with 3 operand ROPs, hardware clipping, colour expansion
  • AGP 2.0 bus master with DMA bus mastering for minimum CPU load and AGP 1X, and 2X support with SBA for host-based textures
  • 128-bit SDRAM interface providing single memory for frame buffer, video and texture memory
  • Integrated 300 MHz palette DAC and clock synthesiser giving 2048 x 1536 maximum resolution; 2048 x 1536 true colour; and 2.8 GB/sec bandwidth
  • Video playback and MPEG2 decode acceleration with motion compensation; 4:2:0 overlay support; X, Y interpolated scaling and colour keying
  • Standard 15-pin D-shell monitor connector and S-Video / Composite Video TV-out connector
Editor’s Notes

Vivid!XS minimum system requirements: Intel Celeron 300 MHz or AMD-K6-2 300 MHz with AGP bus slot, running Windows 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000.