X-bit labs: What are your general targets to achieve on the market? Do you have ambitions to become as big as ATI and NVIDIA?
Nadeem Mohammad: The market place is screaming out for a solid third supplier of quality graphics products – and we will be that company. Both of two companies you mentioned have expanded their business beyond graphics processors and their sizes reflect that, so when S3 Graphics and VIA are viewed together as an entity the relative of sizes of resources become quite different.
X-bit labs: S3 Inc. used to have numerous add-in-card and OEM clients, including big names like ASUS and Compaq. Who are your main clients now?
Nadeem Mohammad: This year you will start to see an increased about of public activity in OEM and big brand name arena, our Chrome20 series of products are attracting a lot of interest from many new and old customers. So I would say “watch this space”
X-bit labs: S3 Incorporated used to have a highly-experienced execution team. Now that Rick Bergman is at ATI, Kenneth Potashner at Newport and some others also joined different companies, can you reveal who leads S3 Graphics today? If possible, tell our readers something about those people and other key employees of the company.
Nadeem Mohammad: Dr. Ken Weng joined S3 Graphics early this year as general manager to lead its return to the the performance graphics market. With his proven background in graphics, chipset and CPU from SGI, Chips and Tech, and Amdhal in early years, this is definitely expanding the experienced management team already in place at S3 Graphics. When established as a VIA affiliate company during 2000-2001, S3 Graphics immediately strengthened the leadership. Both the hardware vice president Michael Shiuan and software vice president Iming Pai had returned to lead the new S3 Graphics product development, and they were both proven key leaders during S3's rising and dominating years. Along with the engineering management was marketing vice president Dr. Gerry Liu who also joined VIA and S3 Graphics in 2000 and had previously been Trident's graphics business president. We're confident that our new product marks the beginning of our exciting return to the desktop and notebook graphics market.
X-bit labs: How do you share the work between your employees? How many graphics architecture engineers are there, how many ASIC designers are there, how many software developers are there? Do you use VIA’s ASIC engineers?
Nadeem Mohammad: The division of work between the various engineering groups and sites is quite complex – but one of the essential elements of designing a successful graphics chip is to engage the software driver team at the very earliest stages of architectural definition. It is the driver folks who have to be very familiar with the way the OS and applications use the drivers and in turn how to map these requests in an efficient manner to graphics processor commands. We do leverage VIA’s central engineering support services and also we license external IP as and when appropriate.
X-bit labs: Do you develop any products beyond PCs? For instance, chips for handheld devices, etc.?
Nadeem Mohammad: S3 Graphics develops the graphics cores which are used in all of VIA technologies core logic solutions for PCs, in addition we are engaged with companies interested in taking our PC products into the mobile and handheld arena – I can not comment any more than that.