VideoLogic Systems And Imagine Graphics Ltd Join Forces On New PC Card For Portrait And Landscape Widescreen Displays

VideoLogic Systems - a division of Imagination Technologies - has joined forces with Imagine Graphics Ltd to develop a powerful, second generation version of Imagine Graphics' Pixel Perfect graphics card. These two leading technology companies have worked together to create a graphics card that is capable of rotating widescreen displays from landscape to portrait modes.

This latest Pixel Perfect model, available now from Imagine Graphics, has 32MB of SDRAM and is available in PCI and AGP formats for Windows 95/98/2000. Using a graphics processor originally developed by NEC and PowerVR Technologies for high intensity gaming, it is 10 times more powerful than the original Pixel Perfect card. The 'end user' price is £225.00 (ex. VAT.)

Kevin Dale, President, VideoLogic Systems, says: "PowerVR technology is used in Sega's Dreamcast and the latest high-performance arcade and location based entertainment systems, so its 3D power is well proven. We believed its stunning 3D effects, including full scene anti-aliasing and alpha blending, are perfect for the corporate scene where widescreen displays are becoming increasingly popular. Imagine Graphics, with their experience in this area, was the ideal partner to help us expand the scope of this graphics processor.

"Thanks to the close collaboration between our two technical teams, we have, in Pixel Perfect, a card which is ideal for use in public information and electronic signage applications. Due to its portrait capability, it is especially useful in conventional billboard locations, advertising and point-of-purchase scenarios."

Stylish plasma display panels (PDPs) lend themselves exceptionally well to the widescreen format and are rapidly gaining ground in corporate, public information display and electronic signage environments. The challenge was to produce a driver for the card that would allow display in landscape widescreen as well as in undistorted portrait mode on both PDP and CRT displays.

Explains Mike Bennett, Technical Director, Imagine Graphics: "Widescreen uses a width-to-height ratio of 16:9 instead of the standard 4:3. Displays will 'stretch' a 4:3 image to fill the screen if widescreen resolutions aren't available, but this distorts the picture. Additionally, because of the way PDPs and CRT displays scan the screen, a portrait image must be rotated through 900 if it is to look correct on a portrait-mounted display. A further complication arises as some PDPs can only be mounted one way in portrait mode, so the driver must be able to rotate the image not just by +900 but also by +2700 which in effect, gives a rotation of -900."

Pixel Perfect supports the card's original 4:3 resolution and now, thanks to Imagine Graphics' clever enhancements, 3:4 and both widescreen formats (16:9 and 9:16). Pioneer, Fujitsu General, Panasonic, JVC and Hantarex are just some of the companies who have shown great interest in Pixel Perfect, says Imagine Graphics.