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LucidLogic on Monday announced its new initiative to boost popularity of its HydraLogix 200 real-time distribution processor. If previously the company offered to install the chip onto mainboards, then with the Unity architecture the firm proposes to install it directly onto graphics cards to bring additional performance to various multi-GPU configurations.

“The Unity architecture provides a win-win situation for the market and for consumers. Graphics board vendors can increase the total market for multi-GPU computing from the low end to the high end. And as a consumer, why wouldn’t you choose to buy a graphics card with HydraLogix on board? You only get more," said Offir Remez, the president of Lucid.

The Hydra engine sits between several graphics processing units (GPUs) as well as system logic and acts like a dispatch processor within an array of graphics chips to distribute tasks between the processors. Technically, Lucid HydraLogix 200 processor can be installed onto a motherboard or onto graphics card. 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 system-on-chip with exclusive software technologies that load-balance graphics processing tasks, delivering near-linear to above-linear performance with two, three or more graphics cards, according to the company’s promises. Lucid claims that even completely different GPUs – from ATI and Nvidia, for example – can work in the same tandem.

Installation of HydraLogix 200 chip onto Unity graphics boards allows consumers to use different mainboards and platforms while still enjoying greater scalability of Hydra-powered multi-GPU arrays. The HydraLogix 200 currently supports both dual and triple multi-GPU configurations, and provides 80% or more graphics acceleration for popular PC games.

"The market for multi-GPU systems has shown continual growth even in a down economy. Lucid’s expansion of its HydraLogix technology to the graphics board further expands options for OEMs, ODMs and consumers, and should provide additional momentum to the growth of reasonably priced, high-powered gaming systems," said Jon Peddie, the head of Jon Peddie Research.

The Lucid Unity architecture for graphics board with HydraLogix 200 engine are both available now to graphics board OEMs. With multiple configurations of the HydraLogix engine, vendors can provide nearly limitless combinations of GPUs to meet a variety of target audiences and price points. Consumer graphics boards are expected to be available for the holiday buying season 2010 at accessible prices under $199. One of the first graphics cards to feature the Hydra engine will be PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 Evolution graphics board that was introduced earlier this year.

 “Lucid’s graphics card implementation of HydraLogix creates new marketing opportunities for graphics card vendors, and we’re proud to be first to offer this technology integrated into our graphics cards. With more options for consumers, we are looking forward to continued healthy growth for PC gaming technology," said Ted Chen, chief executive officer of Tul Corp., the maker of PowerColor graphics cards.

Tags: PowerColor, Lucid, Hydra, Unity, ATI, Radeon

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