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Diamond Multimedia Announces Shipment of Retail Version of Fire GL1 Professional Graphics Accelerator.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 6, 1999--

Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:DIMD), a leader in PC multimedia and Internet connectivity, today announced the shipment of the retail version of the Fire GL1 professional graphics accelerator. The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator, featuring IBM's first graphics chipset and the first 256-bit engine for the Windows NT platform, brings outstanding price-performance graphics to NT workstations. Priced at a U.S. estimated retail price (ERP) of $995, the Fire GL1 graphics accelerator is shipping now to Diamond's worldwide sales channel of partners and distributors.

"In the professional graphics space, there is a big disparity in price between entry-level graphics accelerators and higher end products," said Ian Cartwright, vice president and general manager of Diamond Multimedia's Professional Graphics Division. "Since the price gap can often be more than $1,000, we recognized the need to market a mid-range solution and, in conjunction with IBM, designed the Fire GL1 accelerator. The Fire GL1 delivers top performance in 2D and 3D graphics at a very cost-effective price for our customers."

Top Performance in 2D and 3D Graphics

Providing advanced performance in 2D and 3D NT workstation graphics, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator is ideal for CAD/CAM and digital content creation applications. With its 256-bit graphics engine, the Diamond Fire GL1 delivers up to 15 million anti-aliased vectors per second sustained and processes 200 million pixels per second fill rate. The new Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator outperforms the competition in both 2D and 3D testing. In 3D testing, the Fire GL1 posted an impressive ProCDRS-02 score of 22.3. Under the High-End Graphics segment of WinBench 99, the Fire GL1 yielded a 2D score of 414. For a full range of benchmark test results, visit http://firegl.diamondmm.com.

Key Software Applications

In order to ensure compatibility, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator has been tested and approved for use with more than 15 of the top NT workstation graphics applications. The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator has been tested and approved by leading CAD/CAM software companies including Autodesk, Bentley, CoCreate, Computer Associates, Dassault Systemes, MICROCADAM, PTC, SDRC, SolidWorks and Unigraphics Solutions. The Fire GL1 accelerator has also been tested and approved by notable digital content creation software companies including Computer Associates, Multigen and Softimage. The new Fire GL1 accelerator features optimized software settings for individual ISV applications that allow 3D professionals to customize and tune the applications to meet their specific requirements.

Superior Hardware Design

Featuring the IBM 256-Bit Graphics Rasterizer, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator provides twice the bandwidth of standard 128-bit engines to deliver faster 2D and 3D graphics performance. With an integrated 250MHz RAMDAC, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator supports True Color workstation-class screen resolutions up to 1920x1200 with double buffering and a 24-bit Z-buffer. The new Fire GL 1 accelerator, available is both PCI and AGP configurations, comes with 32MB of 100MHz SGRAM memory.

Optimized for New Technologies

The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator provides multi-threading capabilities by offloading geometry functions onto the second processor of a dual processor workstation. The multi-threaded OpenGL drivers divide the geometry functions of transform, clipping and lighting tasks into multiple threads. Each task is further divided into two threads (one for each CPU) and then processed in parallel to increase throughput and provide enhanced performance. In addition, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator is fully optimized for Intel's Streaming SIMD Extensions to boost the performance of the Pentium III and Xeon processors in the 3D geometry pipeline.

Full Suite of Software Drivers

The new Fire GL1 accelerator includes a full suite of software drivers that are optimized for the top 3D graphics applications in the areas of CAD/CAM, digital content creation and animation, and visualization. The Plug-and-Play monitor support feature of the Fire GL1 accelerator enables the detection and configuration of all DDC2B-compliant monitors to the maximum screen resolution and refresh rate. Also included are easy, adjustable slider bars delivering real-time on-screen gamma correction. The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator also provides multi-screen support and can simultaneously handle the display of up to four monitors running under Windows NT 4.0. The release of Fire GL1 drivers for the Linux operating system is planned for the third quarter of this year.

Pricing and Configurations

Available in PCI and AGP configurations, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator carries an ERP of $995 (U.S.). The Fire GL1 is shipping now to Diamond's worldwide sales channel of partners and distributors. The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator is also available in selected workstations from Dell and IBM, as well as other leading workstation suppliers. Also announced today, Siemens Computer Systems is now including Fire GL1 technology in two new workstation products.

About Diamond Multimedia

Diamond Multimedia is a leader in PC multimedia and Internet connectivity, providing advanced products that enable desktop computer users to create, access and experience compelling new media content from their PC's and through the Internet. Products include the Rio series of Internet audio appliances, the Stealth and Viper(R) series of video accelerators, the Monster series of 3D gaming accelerators, the Fire series of professional graphics accelerators, the Supra(R) series of modems, and the HomeFree line of home networking products. Diamond's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol DIMD, and its web site address is www.diamondmm.com. The Company's Internet music portal site is at www.RioPort.com.

How to Contact Diamond Multimedia

There are many ways to reach Diamond for sales support, technical assistance, driver updates and general information:

Internet Web Sites: www.diamondmm.com and www.RioPort.com Diamond e-commerce Site: www.diamondmm.com/where-to-buy/online-store Diamond Multimedia's Headquarters and Multimedia Division:408-325-7000 Fax: 408-325-7070 Communications Division (Supra brand modems) Main Phone Number: 360-604-1400; Fax: 360-604-1401 European Division (Germany): +49-8151-266-0; (UK): +44-1189-444400; (France) +33-1-55381600 Korean Office (Seoul): +82-2-2185-3388; Fax: +82-2-501-7522 Japanese Office (Tokyo): +81-3-5695-8401; Fax: +81-3-5695-8403 ASEAN Office (Singapore): +65-353-9511; Fax: +65-353-9510 Hong Kong Office: +852-2262-9518; Fax: +852-2262-9555 Australian Office (Sydney): +61-2-9460-2355; Fax +61-2-9460-2360 Latin America Office (Miami): 305-593-8777; Fax: 305-593-2779 Mexico Office (Guadalajara):523-110-1144; Fax: 523-110-0744 Product Support (Voice), United States: 541-967-2450; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-330; Europe (UK) +44-1189-444444; Europe (France) +33-1-55381616; TDD/TTY Support 541-967-2451 Product Support (Fax), United States: 541-967-2401; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-331; Europe (UK): +44-1189-444445; (France) +33-1-55381601 Pre-sales Information: 1-800-468-5846 24-Hour Fax-On-Demand Service: 1-800-380-0030 Investor Relations: 408-325-7476; 1-888-474-3463 (U.S. and Canada) FTP site: ftp.diamondmm.com BBS: Europe (Germany) BBS at +49-8151-266333 (to 28.8 Kbps) or +49-8151-266334 (ISDN); Europe (UK) at +44-1189-444415 (to 33.6 Kbps)

HomeFree, Monster 3D, Rio, Shotgun, SpeedStar and SupraSonic are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. Monster(R) is a registered trademark of Monster Cable. Viper(R) is a registered trademark of Directed Electronics, Inc., Used under License. All other trademarks referenced are the service mark, trademark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers. This announcement relates to products whose introductions are in North America. The product name, contents, prices and availability may differ elsewhere in the world according to local factors and requirements.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, such as statements relating to the Company's ability to successfully exploit technological and market developments, the timing and success of new product introductions by the Company and its competitors, and the Company's ability to invest in new technologies and to enhance its existing systems are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the impact of competitive products and pricing and alternative technological advances, the timely and successful development and market acceptance of new products and upgrades to existing products, and other risks as detailed from time to time in Diamond Multimedia's SEC filings, including its most recent Forms 10-K and 10Q.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 6, 1999
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