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3DLABS DEBUTS WILDCAT VP GRAPHICS ACCELERATOR FAMILY.

3Dlabs(R), Inc. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd., has launched the Wildcat(R) VP family of workstation-class graphics accelerators. Wildcat VP uses 3Dlabs' ground-breaking Visual Processing Architecture to integrate over 200 32-bit processors into a single Visual Processing Unit (VPU) for a staggering 170 Gflops and over 1.2 TeraOps of programmable power. Wildcat VP's power and flexibility provide industrial-strength 2D and 3D performance, quality and functionality for OpenGL(R) and Direct3D(R) applications.

Additionally, Wildcat VP's genuine programmability throughout the entire graphics pipeline provides a superset of traditional graphics processor functionality and is a step towards interactive RenderMan(R)-class rendering. Wildcat VP supports the emerging high-level shading languages, such as OpenGL 2.0, that extend the boundaries of interactive visual realism. Offered in three price/performance models, Wildcat VP graphics accelerators will be made available through leading distributors and systems integrators.

"By drawing on years of accumulated expertise in professional graphics technologies, 3Dlabs is redefining real-time graphics on the PC workstation," said Hock Leow, CTO of Creative Technology and president of 3Dlabs. "Wildcat VP not only offers the unique blend of affordability, performance and reliability needed for today's professional applications, but also delivers industry-leading programmability to accelerate a new class of software-intensive rendering techniques that are far beyond the reach of traditional polygon and texture graphics hardware pipelines."

The Visual Processing Revolution

Wildcat VP delivers workstation-level graphics capabilities that leapfrog those of other products in its class by combining best-of-class support for traditional professional applications with ground-breaking programmability. Wildcat VP sets the standard for traditional mid-range workstation graphics by providing: the flexibility to rapidly deliver the latest OpenGL and Direct3D API functionality, programmable anti-aliasing and texture filters, dual 10-bit DACs for flawless color representation and twice the memory bus width, twice the number of simultaneous textures, twice the number of vertex processors and twice the multisampling capability compared to its nearest competitor.

Wildcat VP also adapts many proven CPU architectural techniques to deliver outstanding system performance and flexibility. Wildcat VP's innovative fast task-switching capability provides the power of multiple dedicated graphics engines; designers can move seamlessly among numerous graphics windows for a highly productive workflow, using multiple virtual VPUs. The highly innovative 16GB virtual memory subsystem of Wildcat VP shatters the limitation of on-board memory by automatically handling huge datasets, while caching essential data for fastest access.

The Wildcat VPUs are the industry's first graphics processors that are programmable from high-order surfaces through to anti-aliased framebuffer pixels -- with highly efficient SIMD scalar processor arrays replacing hardwired logic and inflexible register-combiners at critical sections in a highly optimized graphics pipeline. This programmability enables acceleration of non-traditional algorithms such as wavelet-based decompression, ray-tracing engines and RenderMan-like photo-realistic renderers.

"Programmability is a key driver of workstation graphics, because it allows application developers to differentiate their applications with personalized effects and stylized characters," said Kara Yokley, workstation research manager at IDC. "By placing a high priority on programmability, 3Dlabs aims to ensure that the Wildcat line will continue to be an aggressive competitor in today's and tomorrow's workstation graphics marketplace."

"The new Wildcat VP presents us with an opportunity to implement advanced shading techniques that can considerably improve both image quality and rendering speed," said Karel Zuiderveld, director of advanced technology at Vital Images, Inc. "Wildcat VP offers the first PC graphics chip with enough programming flexibility to allow us to move our rendering technology from CPUs to VPUs."

Three Wildcat VP Models

Wildcat VP comes in three price/performance models that support most AGP 4X-based workstations running Windows(R) XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 98/Me.

About 3Dlabs

3Dlabs, a Creative Company, supplies graphics accelerator solutions to a broad range of professionals including the Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), and visual simulation markets. Its award-winning Oxygen(R) and Wildcat graphics are available in the industry's leading OEM workstations, to the channel through an international distributor/reseller network, and directly to end-users at 3Dlabs' online store.

About Creative

Creative is the worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for users of the personal computer and the Internet. Famous for its Sound Blaster(R) sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment on the PC platform with products like its highly acclaimed NOMAD(R) Jukebox. Creative's innovative hardware, proprietary technology, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment -- anytime, anywhere.

For more information, call 408/530-4784 or visit http://www.3dlabs.com
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Publication:Imaging Update
Geographic Code:9SING
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:745
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