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Graphics chip designer S3 Graphics has introduced its new lineup of PCI Express visual processing units (VPUs) designed to offer relatively high performance amid low power consumption. The company claims that the new graphics chips offer leading “performance per watt” and rich feature-set, however, does not provide any guidance in terms of availability of the products.

“The Chrome S20 series is a clear demonstration of how advanced process technology coupled with a highly efficient design can deliver true value to the discerning PC user. Boasting such a rich feature set and extended memory support at very competitive prices, Chrome S20 clearly represents the start of the future for the new S3 Graphics,” said Dr. Ken Weng, general manager of S3 Graphics.

The Chrome S20-series from S3 Graphics consists of numerous flavours of graphics processors, but currently S3 only talks about the models S23, S25 and S27 that target mainstream market segments.

The Chrome S25 and S27 models feature S3’s revamped fourth generation DirectX 9.0-supporting micro-architecture, a bit evolved from the GammaChrome introduced earlier this year. Both S25 and S27 feature 8 pixel processors and 4 vertex processors as well as flexible PCI Express support, which means that the chips can function in any type of electrical PCI Express slots – x1, x4, x8 and x16. The model S27 graphics card will have VPU operating at 700MHz with up to 1400MHz GDDR3 memory (128-bit bus), whereas the model S25 will feature VPU clocked at over 600MHz with up to 800MHz memory local memory and support for AcceleRAM technology that allows to use system memory as frame-buffer.

S3 Graphics’ Chrome S27 achieves 3539 points in 3DMark05, a bit higher compared to the RADEON X700 PRO, but a bit lower than the GeForce 6600 GT. Two Chrome S27 that work in Multi-Chrome tandem score 6025 marks in the same benchmark, a bit less compared to a single RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition. S3 says that strong points of the Chrome S20 is not only in performance in 3D games, but low CPU use when playing video content as well as low power consumption overall.

Reflecting the company’s environmental drive, the complete range of Chrome 20-series is ROHS (Restricted Use of Hazardous Materials) compliant, using lead-free wafer bumping, substrate construction, final packaging and assembly. Lead-Free readiness makes S3 Graphics’ latest products suitable for OEM and system builders planning for full ROHS compliance, which will become a requirement for systems targeted for sale by mid-next year in many global regions and is already a requirement today in the European Union.

S3 Graphics’ Chrome S20 family of chips consists of 50 – 70 million of transistors and will be made using 90nm process technology by Fujitsu, as reported earlier.

In mid-September S3 Graphics said in an interview that the new Chrome20-series products would be available within the following two months.


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