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During a conference call dedicated to the results of the third quarter of fiscal 2006, NVIDIA’s executives said that shipments of Shader Model 3.0-compliant graphics processing units (GPUs) topped 19 million units in approximately 1.5 years after the initial introduction.

“We have shipped 19 million of Shader Model 3.0 GPUs,” said NVIDIA’s chief executive and president Jen-Hsun Huang.

NVIDIA introduced the world’s first Shader Model 3.0-compliant graphics processing unit – the GeForce 6800 Ultra – in April, 2006. Within the course of the following 18 months the firm initiated shipments of various GPUs supporting Shader Model 3.0 feature-set for different market segments – performance mainstream, mainstream, entry-level, value and even integrated.

Shader Model 3.0 supports advanced flexibility when programming pixel and vertex shaders and allows to create more realistic effects compared to the Shader Model 2.0.

ATI Technologies only recently introduced the RADEON X1000-series that supports Shader Model 3.0 capabilities.

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