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3Dlabs, a legendary maker of professional graphics solutions and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology, today unveiled plans to introduce a new visual processing unit and a special technology that would allow the company to produce graphics cards with a number of chips.

The new technology from 3Dlabs announced today is called Wildcat Realizm and is expected to enable plethora of new graphics cards. The architecture combines a next-generation Visual Processing Unit (VPU) and a Vertex/Scalability Unit (VSU). These work together to enable a software-compatible family of graphics accelerators ranging from a single VPU AGP 8x solution to a unique dual-VPU configuration, which takes full advantage of the enhanced bandwidth of PCI Express.

Wildcat Realizm along with the new VPU from 3Dlabs will support Microsoft DirectX 9.0 API along with HLSL to further support the standard that is becoming the major driving force in the graphics industry. The new graphics processor that consists of 150 million of transistors will showcase some new speed boundaries in CAD and DCC applications, according to 3Dlabs.

3Dlabs new visual processing unit code-named P20 not only sports DirectX 9.0 capabilities, something its predecessor – 3Dlabs  P10 – lacked, but also boasts with stunning math1ematical power along with an impressive capability of working in pairs via a special VSU unit that optimally distributes graphical primitives between the two VPUs to achieve a genuine doubling of both geometry and fillrate performance.

The Wildcat Realizm VSU provides extreme geometry performance while enabling a dual-VPU configuration to provide unmatched high-end graphics solutions. The Wildcat Realizm VSU receives graphics commands at full bandwidth from PCI Express x16 interface and processes vertices with an incredible 67 billion floating point operations per second in a powerful SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) array of highly optimized vector processors. The VSU is then able to drive two VPUs at full bandwidth over full-duplex 8.4GB/s interface.

Wildcat Realizm technology also offers some unique features. These include the use of a hierarchical depth (Z) buffer and the direct display of 16-bit floating-point values, both of which provide substantial algorithmic efficiencies and corresponding increases in processing speeds and capabilities. When coupled with this level of performance, the programmable nature of Wildcat Realizm technology allows application developers to fully unleash their creativity. And since this technology is the first to be based on a 3D graphics pipeline that is truly floating-point from the input vertices to the final displayed pixels means end users now have access to new levels of image quality and realism, 3Dlabs said.

A range of products based on the Wildcat Realizm architecture is expected to be available mid-2004.

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