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S3's Third Generation ViRGE 3D Accelerator Brings New Capabilities to Home PC Users

ViRGE/GX2 Delivers the First Fully Integrated 2D/3D/Video and AGP Solution
 for the Mainstream Home PC/TV Market

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with Intel's "Platforms for Visual Computing" conference being held today at the San Jose Convention Center, S3(R) Incorporated (Nasdaq: SIII) launched its ViRGE(R)/GX2 Home PC/TV accelerator. Building upon the award-winning 2D, 3D and video capabilities of the S3d(TM) architecture, the ViRGE/GX2 accelerator is the industry's first fully integrated solution with support for TV-out, DuoView(TM) dual-display capability, Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) and high- quality Digital Video Disc (DVD). With these technology advances, the ViRGE/GX2 accelerator bridges the gap between mainstream consumer electronics and PC technology -- bringing new capabilities to consumers using PCs in the home.

"The ViRGE/GX2 accelerator highlights S3's commitment to bring the consumer electronics experience to the PC platform," said G. "Ven" Venkatesh, executive vice president, graphics and audio/communications, S3 Incorporated. "Driving new market opportunities, such as the emergence of the Home PC/TV market, the ViRGE/GX2 accelerator places S3 on the forefront of technology advancements for the mainstream PC market."

Innovative Features Targeted at Consumers

The ViRGE/GX2 features advanced 3D and display technology designed specifically to bridge the gap between consumer electronics and PC technology. These new and innovative features include:

S3's DuoView Dual-Display Technology

DuoView enables users to display different images simultaneously on separate monitors or to provide optimized quality when displaying the same image on multiple displays. This feature significantly increases the functionality of applications, such as multi-player gaming, Web browsing and video conferencing. Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT), has incorporated multi- monitor/different image support into its developer release of the next Windows operating system, code-named Memphis. Microsoft subsequently enables S3's DuoView technology with this new multiple monitor capability in Windows. S3's DuoView accelerators, like the ViRGE/GX2, are the only solutions currently capable of providing Level 2 multiple monitor support with a single chip.

Support for Intel's AGP

The ViRGE/GX2 accelerator provides support for Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC) AGP standard to deliver new levels of visual realism to the PC while helping to contain solution costs for memory intensive 3D applications. Active participation in AGP Implementors forum has allowed S3 to develop the first fully integrated AGP-enabled PC/TV graphics solutions for the home PC market.

"S3's ViRGE/GX2 with AGP support will drive next generation multimedia performance at mainstream price points for the business and consumer PC," said James Nucci, AGP Marketing Manager for Intel Corporation.

Integrated TV-Out

TV-Out enables the highest-quality output from the PC to the TV. The ViRGE/GX2 uniquely features an integrated encoder that outputs composite and S-Video directly to the TV instead of using an external encoder. This integrated approach provides a lower cost solution, higher quality video and an easy single chip implementation for motherboard manufacturers.

Integrated Flicker Filter

The ViRGE/GX2 accelerator incorporates a 3-line flicker filter which allows PC graphics to be displayed on a standard television without annoying flicker. To further improve quality, S3 incorporates a programmable filtering mechanism which allows the ViRGE/GX2 accelerator to remove flicker without sacrificing detail.

Overscan Compensation

Overscan Compensation ensures that the highest resolution computer graphics display fits on a TV screen. Without Overscan Compensation, the TV may cut off the outer border of a video picture, such as the Windows tool bar.

Advanced 3D Performance

The ViRGE/GX2 accelerator delivers a full set of 3D rendering features including MIP mapping, tri-linear filtering, and perspective correction of textures to deliver images that are free of annoying visual artifacts such as "sparkle" and "jaggies." Other features include transparency for enabling realistic rendering of glass, water and plastic objects; atmospheric effects such as fog and depth cueing to enable the rendering of real-world environments; and Z-buffering to speed the removal of hidden surfaces for improved performance and visual quality.

DVD Ready

Today's PC users are demanding video that is better than what is available on their TV sets. To achieve better than TV-quality video, accelerator solutions must deliver at least 30 frames-per-second of high-quality, full- screen video. Recognizing this requirement, S3 provides a scaleable solution that combines either hardware or software MPEG-2 decoders with S3's integrated DVD features including:

-- 720-pixel line buffer to guarantee superior display of native MPEG-2 video content.

-- Horizontal and vertical interpolation of video for superior image quality at higher resolutions.

-- Scenic Highway(TM) LPB to provide interface to MPEG-2 decoders for easy DVD upgrades.

-- YUV interface for easy upgrade to Macrovision 7.01 DVD copy protection program.

ViRGE: The Ultimate Hardware and Software Solution

S3 shipped more than five million 3D accelerators in 1996, enabling the company to capture more than 50 percent of the consumer 3D market(a). Its ViRGE family has been adopted by PC and add-in card manufacturers such as AST, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Packard Bell, Toshiba, Micron, Canopus, DataExpert, Diamond Multimedia, ELSA, Hercules, Leadtek, miro, Number Nine, Orchid and STB Systems.

In addition, last month S3 announced its RIO (Redistributed Internet Objects) platform and an equity investment in Intervista Software to co- develop a VRML 2.0 Browser. Designed to reduce bandwidth constraints in immersive 3D worlds by up to 75 percent, S3's RIO Platform is a high-bandwidth solution that enables users to store graphics and audio data directly on their hard drive -- eliminating the need for lengthy downloads over the Internet and saving critical time and power in mobile situations. Optimized for the ViRGE family of products, S3's VRML 2.0 plug-in and RIO platform will enable both desktop and mobile users to quickly access and navigate through virtual 3D worlds in the office, at home or on the road.

Pricing and Availability

The ViRGE/GX2 is sampling now, and S3 expects that the ViRGE/GX2 will be in volume production in the second calendar quarter of 1997. S3 intends to make the ViRGE/GX2 available to customers for $29 in quantities of 10,000.

About S3 Incorporated

S3 Incorporated, founded in 1989 with headquarters in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest supplier of multimedia acceleration hardware and its associated software(b). S3 is committed to applying its expertise in audio, video, graphics and platform acceleration to create innovative and affordable products for the home, desktop and mobile markets. The company's vision for the future is to also bring a rich, consumer electronics-type experience to PC users -- integrating the best available consumer multimedia technologies into the mainstream PC platform.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, such as statements relating to the company's ability to drive technological developments with the company's growth and expansion into markets, and the ability of the company to successfully integrate new technologies, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risk and uncertainties, including the impact of competitive products and pricing and of alternative technological advances, the timely and successful development and market acceptance of new products and upgrades to existing products, and other risks detailed from time to time in S3's SEC reports.

S3 and ViRGE are registered trademarks of S3 incorporated. The S3 corporate logo, S3d, Scenic Highway and DuoView are trademarks of S3 Incorporated. Other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

(a) Source: Jon Peddie Associates (Tiburon, CA)

(b) Source: Mercury Research (Scottsdale, AZ)

Diamond Multimedia Systems

"OEMs and systems integrators are looking to Intel's AGP to help meet the ever-increasing performance needs of their customers," said David Watkins, vice president and general manager of Diamond Multimedia's Visual Systems Division (Nasdaq: DIMD). "By working closely with S3, Diamond plans to offer a ViRGE/GX2-based solution that takes advantage of AGP, which provides the needed horsepower to maximize the effectiveness of current and future software technologies."

Press Contact:

Kim Stowe


Number Nine Visual Technology

"Number Nine Visual Technology, a long time partner with S3, is working with S3's new ViRGE/GX and VIRGE/GX2 graphics accelerators chips for upcoming Number Nine graphics adapters for both PCI and Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) equipped computers. These new graphics adapters will allow Number Nine to provide it's customers increasingly faster graphics under Windows 95 and NT, significantly improved 3D texture mapping for smooth 3D games play and higher quality video playback," said Michael Romanies, vice president of marketing, Number Nine Visual Technology (Nasdaq: NINE).

Press Contact:

Phil Parker


STB Systems

"As evidenced by our STB Nitro 3D product, employing the powerful S3 ViRGE/GX, STB has been able to deliver top PC OEMs and end-users an advanced multimedia accelerator using ultra-high bandwidth memory and the features of S3's ViRGE technology," said Gary Kellar, Director of Product Marketing at STB Systems (Nasdaq: STBI). "With the addition of new features such as support for AGP with TV output, dual-display capability and support for DVD playback, combined with S3's proven high-performance 2D, digital video and 3D graphics acceleration, we feel the ViRGE/GX2 will offer yet another level of multimedia display acceleration to a wide range of PC users."

Press Contact:

Brian Burke

972-234-8750, Ext. 2113

SOURCE S3 Incorporated
 -0- 3/24/97

/CONTACT: Press: Paul Crossley, 408-588-8664, or, or Investor: Sandy O'Halloran, 408-588-8000, Ext. 3994, or, both of S3 Incorporated/


CO: S3 Incorporated; Microsoft; Intel; Diamond Multimedia's Visual Systems

Division; Number Nine Visual Technology; STB Systems ST: California IN: CPR MLM SU: PDT

BS-KS -- NYM029 -- 6716 03/24/97 07:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 24, 1997
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