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NVIDIA Corp., a leading designer of visual processing units, announced its new product aimed at high-end handhelds that boast with video and three-dimensional games functionality. While the chip alone does not bring revolutions to the industry, it certainly may give future portable devices a substantial push in terms of content’s quality.

The new GoForce 3D 4500 graphics processor from NVIDIA not only sports typical set of capabilities available on graphics chips of its kind, such as intelligent power management, JPEG encode/decode engine, MPEG-4 decode engine, display controller, up to 3MP video input, SD/SDIO controller and other caps, but also provides a list of innovative capabilities, including geometry processing, programmable pixel shaders, multi-texturing, early-Z test (a memory bandwidth saving tech) and 40-bit color.

The feature-set of the GoForce 3D 4500 puts graphics processors for handhelds on the same line with graphics chips for desktops that were on the top only 3 or 4 years ago.

“We believe the NVIDIA GoForce 3D 4500 will drive a major discontinuity in the handheld market, a market already known for its staggering pace of innovation,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA.

NVIDIA will support the GoForce 3D line with a content strategy of working with carriers, game developers, and publishers across the industry to enhance the delivery of rich compelling content to cell phones, PDAs, gamepad units, and other handheld devices. The GoForce 3D 4500 WMP also supports standard 3D application programming interfaces, including OpenGL-ES, D3D-Mobile, and M3G.

The GoForce 3D 4500 is made using 0.15 micron “low-leakage” process technology that features dynamic clock gating and can automatically shut-off of unused pipeline stages. The chip is pin-to-pin compatible with GoForce 4000 and requires 1.425-1.575V core voltage as well as 1.71V to 3.60V I/O voltage. Thermal and power consumption specs are unclear.

NVIDIA is sampling the GoForce 3D 4500 today to major phone OEMs and handheld manufacturers. The first shipping products with the GoForce 3D 4500 will be Tiger Telematics' Gizmondo portable game console. Phones featuring the GoForce 3D 4500 are expected to ship in the first half of 2005.

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