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Sapphire Technology, the world’s largest producer of ATI Radeon-based graphics cards, has unveiled the world’s first graphics card with high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) connector, which will be available in retail. The device is powered by ATI Radeon X1600 Pro graphics board and is positioned for multimedia enthusiasts.

HDMI is an interface in consumer electronics that can carry both uncompressed high-definition (HD) video (up to 1920x1080 progressive scan, 24-bit) and uncompressed 8-channel audio in all HD formats. The Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI will allow digital video enthusiasts to plug-in a modern high-definition television to a computer to watch movies or play computer games.

Theoretically, the Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI will allow end-users to build low-profile multimedia personal computers (PCs) capable of Blu-ray and HD DVD discs playback, provided that they have an appropriate optical drive. The graphics board is fully complaint with high-bandwidth digital copyright protection (HDCP) technology, which means that it can playback protected content.

The graphics card itself is equipped with the Radeon X1600 Pro chip (12 pixel shader processors, 4 texture units, 5 vertex shader processors) clocked at 500MHz as well as 256MB of 800MHz GDDR3 memory. The device comes with D-Sub 15 and HDMI connectors and the manufacturer also bundles HDMI->DVI-D connector with the product.

Pricing of the part was not touched upon.

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