UPDATE: Adding details about PCI-to-PCI Express bridge chip Matrox Graphics uses for the new product.
Matrox Graphics revealed Wednesday its latest PCI Express graphics solution for systems that lack PCI Express x16 (PEG x16) port typically used to install graphics cards. Instead of traditional PEG x16 slot, Matrox Millennium G550 PCIe uses PCI Express x1, which is available in all systems that support PCI Express interconnection.
“This product offers unprecedented flexibility for a variety of mission-critical systems, including servers and industrial computers with no available PCI Express x16 slots,” said Sam Recine, Product Manager, Matrox Graphics.
The Matrox Millennium G550 PCIe is based on Matrox G550 technology with 32MB of memory that connects to chip using 64-bit bus and has DualHead support for using 2 digital or analog monitors at a time. The graphics chip Millenium G550 was originally released in early Summer 2001, four years back, it lacks DirectX 8.0 functionality and features 2 rendering pipelines with two texture units per each. The chip was originally intended for AGP 4x platforms.
Matrox Graphics has not created a special version of its G550 to operate using PCI Express bus, but it uses a bridge chip to convert the chip’s PCI signals into PCI Express signals. Texas Instruments (TI) XIO2000 bridge chip announced in September, 2004, is installed onto the Matrox Millennium G550 PCIe graphics card, but at press time TI’s web-site did not contain any additional information in regards the chip, except of the fact that it can work with up to 6 32-bit/33MHz PCI devices and convert their signals into PCI Express x1.
While performance of the Matrox Millennium G550 PCIe graphics card in 3D application is likely to be on a very low level today, the main intention of the card is to provide advanced 2D functionality in modern systems that lack PCI Express x16 support.
This announcement follows other recent Matrox releases for PCI Express, including Matrox QID LP PCIe, Millennium P650 PCIe 128, and Millennium P650 LP PCIe 64.
Matrox Graphics provides display drivers if the Millenium G550 PCIe for Windows and also open-source display drivers for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.
The Matrox Millennium G550 PCIe graphics card will be available in August 2005 at a list price of $139. This product will be available from authorized resellers worldwide or, in North America and