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Although the new STM’s chip, KYRO II, can boast a really good price-to-performance ratio, the manufacturers don’t hurry to announce anything built on this chip. Alongside with Hercules, STM’s partner #1, there is currently only one more company, which is about to manufacture graphics cards based on KYRO II - InnoVision. The behavior of other companies is just puzzling. For example, PowerColor refused to launch KYRO II based products shortly after it had actually announced them. Creative was talked to support the new solution of STM, but now it denies intentions like that.
What’s the matter? As we have learned from a number of Taiwanese graphics cards manufacturers, NVIDIA still produces an indirect pressure to make the companies use only its chips. And the manufacturers have nothing to say against. NVIDIA offers a full line of graphics chips ranging from the Low-End to the High-End solutions. If the manufacturers risk to seek for another shipper, they are likely to find no alternative. GeForce2 MX series has some equivalents, while the elder GeForce2 and GeForce3 are unique. Hereat most graphics cards manufacturers have to indulge all NVIDIA’s whims. Hercules doesn’t depend much on NVIDIA. Firstly, this company doesn’t concentrate on graphics cards only, producing a wide range of computer hardware. Secondly, it occupies a big share of the European graphics card market and NVIDIA can’t quarrel with Hercules that easily. So, Hercules has a good chance to get good profits from KYRO II cards, since their manufacturing costs are lower than those of GeForce2 MX cards. Yet it doesn’t work for other manufacturers, that are humble to NVIDIA’s will. But the situation can be twisted by the brand new STM chip of the next generation, KYRO III. Presumably, compared with KYRO II, it is rumored to give a 150-200% performance gain. Should the new chip arrive in time, within the third quarter, STM will be armed with a complete line of products to tilt someone else in its favor. For the time being, NVIDIA enjoys its supremacy over the graphics chipsets sector.


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