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LucidLogix Technologies, a company that develops “universal” multi-GPU technology that is said to be more advanced than ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI, has secured $18 million in series C round of funding from Rho Ventures and some others. Last year the startup received funding from Intel Capital, which may be an indicator that the company does have something advanced to offer the industry.

The investment from Rho Ventures with participation from existing investors Genesis Partners and Giza Venture Capital is the largest to date and brings total capitalization of Lucid to $32 million. It is noteworthy that the company that is focused on developing products aimed at premium-class personal computers and similar devices received funding amid economic downturn.

Lucid intends to use the funds for commercializing the company’s already announced and demonstrated Hydra multi-GPU technology and development of next generation products. It is interesting to note that LucidLogix promised to start volume shipments of the Hydra 100 engine for multi-GPU applications in Q4 2008, but there are a little more than two months left in the year 2008 and there are still no signs of Lucid’s Hydra approaching the market.

The Hydra engine sits between the chipset and several GPUs and acts like a dispatch processor within a graphics processing unit (GPU) to distribute tasks among the chips. 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 PCI Express 1.1. 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, according to the company’s promises.

“We believe there is potential for the multi-GPU market and have confidence in the Lucid approach. The Hydra scalable graphics processing technology has the ability to affect the price performance paradigm in systems of all types. We are looking forward to seeing the fruits of this powerful partnership. And while the Lucid Hydra engine at first glance is impressive, what makes the company even more attractive is the team of engineers behind the innovation,” said Jeff Grammer, a partner at Rho Ventures.

Tags: Lucid, Hydra, Geforce, Radeon, Intel, Larrabee

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