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Sources familiar with Intel’s plans revealed some details about Intel’s next-generation integrated graphics core from i915G chipset to be announced in the second half of June, 2004. With the new built-in graphics accelerator Intel targets not only budget, but mainstream PC with DirectX 9 and HDTV support.

Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 900 will have unbelievably revamped performance and feature-set compared to the existing Intel Extreme Graphics 2 offering. The GMA900 graphics packs 4 pixel pipelines and works at 333MHz, bringing one of the fastest integrated graphics cores ever available. Besides, the Graphics Media Accelerator 900 supports DirectX 9 capabilities – hardware pixel shaders 2.0 and software vertex shaders 2.0 – in addition to OpenGL 1.4 feature-set.

Another important capability of the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 is support for two independent display - a feature that is required by financial, educational, engineering and some other industries. While there was information about support of up to four independent monitors by the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900, formerly known as Intel Extreme Graphics 3, Intel reps once said they know nothing about the feature.

Intel’s new graphics core will support RGB, DVI, HDTV (1080i, 720p), composite, component and S-Video outputs, bringing mainboard makers and system integrators impressing capabilities at very cost-effective pricing.

Sources familiar with Intel’s plans report that Grantsdale-G provides a flexible and stable platform for corporate and consumer. Offered features include PCI Express x16 graphics port (PEG x16), dual-channel DDR and DDR2 SDRAM, 4 Serial ATA-150 ports, 4 PCI Express x1 ports, Azalia audio and optional WLAN capability.

Intel believes that additional bandwidth provided by DDR2 memory at 533MHz speed bin will play a positive role in performance of integrated graphics core. Even though Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 will hardly become a kicking performer in modern 3D games, its hardware support for DirectX 9.0 pixel shaders is likely to allow it to run up-to-date titles offering enough performance for people who are not really big gamers.

Intel officials did not comment on the third-generation graphics core.

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