Compaq Selects PowerVR 3D Graphics Architecture for Next- Generation, High-Performance Presarios Home PCs

MOUNTAIN VIEW, May 9, 1996 -- NEC Electronics Inc. and VideoLogic today announced that Compaq Computer Corporation selected PowerVR 3D graphics architecture for its next generation of Presario home personal computers. Jointly developed by NEC and VideoLogic, the PowerVR architecture is a scalable 3D graphics solution that, for the first time brings arcade level performance to games software for the home personal computer.

"Compaq is committed to delivering breakthrough technologies that take multimedia to the next level," said Rod Schrock, vice president, consumer division, Compaq. "Compaq products using the PowerVR architecture will usher in a dramatic new era for computer entertainment by bringing the excitement and realism of the arcade 3D gaming experience into the home."

"Compaq is one of the key influencers in consumer computing," said Mark Schoenhals, product marketing manager, NEC Electronics Inc. "Compaq's support of the PowerVR technology demonstrates their commitment to providing high-performance computer game solutions and reinforces our belief that the PowerVR technology will make games more compelling."

Compaq's decision to incorporate the PowerVR technology into its new line of Presario home computers will allow users to experience arcade-quality game play in their own homes," said Trevor Wing, vice president of marketing for VideoLogic. "The PowerVR technology also is a tremendous breakthrough for game developers, allowing them to fully exploit their creative talents and take PC games to a new level of 3D realism."

"Incorporating the PowerVR architecture into its new line of enthusiast systems, Compaq will be bringing arcade-level games to the home PC market, for a reasonable price," said Jon Peddie, president Jon Peddie Associates. "We anticipate the 3D add-in card market will grow to over 40 million units by the year 2000, given its initial performance capabilities, PowerVR should prove to be a serious contender."

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Room 409BThe PowerVR Architecture

The PowerVR architecture allows content developers to create a single game for a variety of system platforms, speeding time-to-market. It takes a revolutionary approach to 3D graphics systems design. Typically, 3D controllers require three memory systems: Z-buffer, texture and frame-buffer memory. NEC and VideoLogic have eliminated the Z-buffer memory requirement and reduced the other memory bandwidth requirements. The result is a nearly limitless performance increase.

The PowerVR architecture offers a performance level of up to 1 million textured and shaded polygons per second, based on 8 Giga operations per second processing speed delivering 3D rendered scenes at 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames-per-second (fps) and 16.7 million colors (true color) with every pixel mip mapped, textured, fogged, lit and shaded.

Content Developers and Add-in Board Manufacturers Pick PowerVR

A wide range of content developers and add-in board manufacturers have announced or pledged their support for the PowerVR architecture.

In November, 1995, Namco Limited, the leading arcade game manufacturer, announced it will be porting games such as Rave Racer, Air Combat 22 and Tekken to PowerVR. Other companies announcing their support for PowerVR include: Activision, Looking Glass Technologies, Inc., Mindscape Bordeaux, Mindscape, International, Psygnosis Ltd.; Gremlin Interactive Limited and Virtuality KK. Additionally, VideoLogic and NEC Home Electronics have all indicated they will be announcing add-in graphics boards for PCs later this year.

Software Support

NEC's 3D graphics processors are compatible with application programming interfaces (APIs) including Microsoft Direct3D and PowerVR SGL, a powerful, high-level API developed by VideoLogic and NEC.

Pricing, Packaging and Availability

NEC's single-chip PCX1 is slated for sampling in Q2 '96 and volume in Q3 '96. Volume price is expected to be less than $50 in quantities of 10,000 per month by the end of 1996 or the beginning of 1997. Packaging is 208-pin, plastic quad flat pack (PQFP).

Who to Contact

For development kits including reference boards, reference designs, Microsoft Direct3D libraries, on-line documentation, sample applications, model converters and pricing and availability information for NEC's 3D graphics processors, please contact NEC's Technical Support Hotline at (800) 366-9782. For information and availability of the PowerVR SGL libraries contact VideoLogic at (415) 875-0606.

About Compaq

Compaq Computer Corporation is the world's largest supplier of personal computers, offering desktop PCs, portable PCs, servers and options. The company reported 1995 worldwide sales of $14.8 billion. Compaq products are sold and supported in more than 100 countries through Compaq marketing partners and sold directly to customers through Compaq Direct Plus at 1-800-888-5858. Compaq provides 24-hour customer support and can be reached through the Compaq forums on America On-line, CompuServe, Internet (, and Prodigy, or by calling 1 800 OK-COMPAQ. Product information and reseller locations can be obtained by calling 1-800-345-1518.

About NEC Electronics

NEC Electronics Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., manufactures and markets an extensive line of electronic products including ASICs, microprocessors and microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSPs), memories and components, including flat panel displays. In 1995, the company ranked fourth semiconductor sales in the U.S. (According to Dataquest.) The company operates a 676,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Roseville, Calif. NEC Electronics Inc. is an affiliate of NEC Corporation (NIPNY), a $43 billion international manufacturer of computer, communications and semiconductor products.

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