VideoLogic Vivid!™ Graphics Card Loves Complex Games

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VideoLogic Systems - a division of Imagination Technologies - has today announced the VideoLogic Vivid!, its first performance graphics add-in card based on the KYRO™ PowerVR Series3 graphics processor.

The VideoLogic Vivid! is a fully featured, high performance graphics card for gamers at an affordable price. Vivid! features pixel-perfect Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), superior colour precision via 32-bit Internal True Colour™, support for 8-layer multitexturing, DXTC texture compression and Direct3D compliant Environment Mapped Bump Mapping. The product is expected to ship to distributors and OEMs in October 2000, with an expected street price under £99 ex. VAT, (approx £115 inc. VAT).

Kevin Dale, president, VideoLogic Systems, says: "Vivid! is a high-performance solution based on the same acclaimed technology that powers next-generation console and arcade systems. Vivid! users will get the benefit of performance-leading graphics, combined with enhanced image quality, at an affordable cost. For high-intensity gaming Vivid! provides an enormous effective fill rate, enabling intense scene complexity, all with the stunning visual quality of full 32-bit rendering."

Vivid!'s 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! provides an effective fill rate of around one gigapixel per second. Vivid! includes 32mb of high performance SD-RAM memory and its KYRO graphics processor has support for resolutions up to 1920x1440, 115MHz clock-speed and full 4X AGP support, and over 20 million polygons per second.

Vivid! is based on the KYRO PowerVR Series3 processor from STMicroelectronics (www.kyro.st.com). KYRO was designed by STMicroelectronics and PowerVR Technologies (a division of Imagination Technologies).Tile Based Rendering

VideoLogic's Vivid! utilizes innovative 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.

Put simply - most 3D renderers inefficiently draw and texture lots of redundant, 'wasted' pixels that the user can't see because they are obscured by objects in front of them in the 3D world. Vivid! uses advanced PowerVR rendering technology to only draw what the user can see - improving speed and image quality, while reducing the overall cost of high-performance graphics through lower bandwidth requirements. Tile Based Rendering breaks up the screen into small tiles and then performs 'hidden surface removal' on-chip using KYRO's unique 32 parallel processing elements. Vivid!'s Tile Based Rendering makes extremely efficient use of memory bandwidth - typically getting 3x more performance from the available memory bandwidth than conventional 3D accelerators.

Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA)

Vivid! 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!'s 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! 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! to provide class-leading performance in 32bpp modes.

Realistic Environments Using Unique 8-Layer Multitexturing

Vivid! 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! allows more detailed backgrounds, realistically lit models, and more plausible environments to be rendered. When compared with traditional accelerators, Vivid!'s 8-layer multitexturing results in significant performance and quality improvements.

Direct3D Environment Mapped Bump Mapping

Vivid! 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!'s Environment Mapped Bump Mapping uses per pixel operations to represent detail on much larger polygons. As Vivid!'s 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!'s PowerVR technology is not slowed down by increasing depth complexity Vivid! will still provide excellent performance on the games of tomorrow.

Compatibility and Support

Vivid! has full support for both Microsoft DirectX 7 and OpenGL1.1 3D graphics APIs. Vivid! fully meets the requirements of PC 99A. Vivid! ships with fully optimized driver support for Windows 9x, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. Direct3D HAL and OpenGL ICD are fully supported.

Other Vivid! features include a fast 128-bit 2D engine, hardware video playback and DVD decode assistance, AGP 2.1 Bus Master Interface supporting AGP 1x, 2x and 4x with SBA for host based textures, a 128-bit SG-RAM/SD-RAM interface and integrated palette DAC.

Vivid! 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 (around one gigapixel at a depth complexity of four)
  • Over 20 million polygons per second (peak)
  • Flat and Gouraud shading
  • Perspective texturing and shading
  • Specular highlights
  • D3D Environment Mapped Bump Mapping
  • DirectX Texture Compression (DXTC)
  • 8 Layer Multitexturing support
  • 32-bit Z/Stencil buffer
  • Internal True Color™ 32-bit ARGB internal rendering and layer blending· Full tile blend buffer
  • Z load/store mode
  • Table and per vertex fog
  • Palletised textures
  • 16-bit textures
  • 32-bit textures
  • YUV and DXT textures
  • Point, bilinear, trilinear and anisotropic filtering
  • Full range of OpenGL and D3D blend modes
  • Alpha test
  • Pixel-perfect full scene anti-aliasing


About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics (formerly SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics) is a global independent semiconductor company, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on the ParisBourse and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems. In 1999, the Company's net revenues were $5.056 billion and net earnings were $547 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com. Further information about KYRO can be found at www.kyro.st.com.
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