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While nearly all observers and analyst are looking for ATI and NVIDIA to release their next-generation graphics powerhouses, a company almost all have forgotten about, Matrox Graphics, is also getting ready to introduce something new this year. The graphics processor will presumably be intended for PCI Express x16 and will sport at least some Microsoft DirectX 9 caps.

Things have been quiet at Matrox Graphics for nearly two years now after the firm released its Parhelia visual processing unit. The part became a breakthrough neither in terms of features nor performance, though, was the first relatively affordable graphics card for PCs supporting up to three displays. In 2003 Matrox released more Parhelia technology-based offerings for 2D professional market, but these parts did not attract a lot of attention of the industry. Nevertheless, there are some more products being developed at Matrox Graphics.

Netsys Software, a solution provider for emerging standards, announced that Matrox Graphics has signed an agreement to license nSys PCI Express nVS verification tools for use in its chip design efforts. Matrox engineers are now using PCI Express nVS product to verify the correct operation of the PCI Express interface in its chip designs. The tool helps Matrox engineers catch potential bugs during pre-silicon verification.

“PCI Express is a key technology for our next-generation Graphics offering and we have developed a very sophisticated verification environment to ensure the quality of this new interface,” said David Chiappini, ASIC Project Director at Matrox.

To address the market of Windows Longhorn computers, Matrox Graphics will not only have to add PCI Express x16 into its products just in order to create solutions compliant with tomorrow’s personal computers, but will also have to incorporate hardware Pixel Shader 2.0 to be fully compliant with the upcoming operating system.

Last year an official from Matrox Graphics said the company aimed to have a new graphics processor in 2004.

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