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Sega and PowerVR announced agreement under which Sega would incorporate high-end graphics technologies by PowerVR into its next-generation arcade machines. While the peculiarities about the deal are not clear, implementation of PowerVR technologies into commercial products may potentially have an impact on the whole market of graphics.

According to the press release by Sega and Imagination Technologies, the owner of PowerVR, the former will use a new high-performance PowerVR graphics processor as the basis of its future arcade systems. Sega may also supply mainboards based on this processor to other leading amusement game companies.

As a graphics processor developer, PowerVR has not released anything new since early 2001 and analysts of the industry rarely take this firm into the account when talking about prospects for the industry. However, PowerVR reminds the world about itself by releasing some pieces information leading to assume about its new products indirectly.

In mid-2003 we were told about a book covering some modern ways of programming real-time 3D graphics in general and using Pixel Shaders 3.0 and Vertex Shaders 3.0 in particular. The authors of the articles covering the Shaders 3.0 were from PowerVR, and web-media around the Web suggested that we would shortly see a new product coming from PowerVR. We have not really seen or heard anything real about PowerVR’s graphics chips so far, but in late 2003 the company released the demo software that did not work on DirectX 9.0 hardware, such as RADEON 9800 PRO or GeForce FX 5900, but requires some additional features to be supported.

Sega and PowerVR already had long-term working experience with each other on consoles, such as Dreamcast, as well as arcade machines, such as Naomi. Arcade platforms by Sega were employed not only by Sega but also by many of the other leading amusement game companies.

It is not clear whether PowerVR’s new graphics processors will enter the market of personal computers. In the past PowerVR had some success with its Kyro graphics chips.


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