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Nowadays performance of multi-chip graphics sub-systems substantially depends on software optimizations. However, LucidLogix Technologies plans to change this with the help of its distributed processing engine called Hydra early next year.

The Hydra engine sits between the chipset and multi-GPUs and acts like a dispatch processor within a graphics processing unit (GPU) to distribute tasks among the processors. The technology drives the GPUs, performing scalable rendering of a particular image or scene, and relies on “unique adaptive decomposition and acceleration algorithms to overcome bottlenecks”. The Hydra engine combines a system-on-chip (Tensilica Diamond 212GP programmable general purpose processor) with exclusive software technologies that load-balances graphics processing tasks, delivering near-linear to above-linear performance with two, three or more graphics cards.

“We’re currently focusing our Hydra engine on improving everyday PC performance, but our vision is to bring more scalability, flexibility and power to all visual processing markets including graphics professionals, power gamers, design/engineering professionals and others,” said Offir Remez, Lucid co-founder and president.

Lucid’s innovations are protected by over 50 patents and patents pending, with more in the pipeline. The company is backed by venture capital firms Giza Venture Capital, Genesis Partners and Intel Capital.

Lucid is already working with leading OEMs, ODMs and PC technology providers to create innovative platform solutions that are expected to come to market in the first half of 2009. At the same time, the Hydra engine requires no modification to existing graphics software applications, and it supports common graphics standards such as DirectX.

“Lucid’s technology couldn’t hit the market at a better time. We still have far to go to reach total visual realism on the PC, and today’s players are turning to multi-core and parallel processing technologies to solve bottlenecks. Lucid Hydra technology has the potential to shake up the industry and help elevate the game to the next level,” said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research.

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