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S3 Announces Support for VESA's UMA Standard; VUMA Architecture to Bring Higher Price/Performance Solutions to the Mainstream PC Market.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 1996--S3 Incorporated (NASDAQ:SIII) today announced its support of the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) Unified Memory Architecture (VUMA) standard -- an emerging system architecture that provides enhanced multimedia functionality with cost savings to the end user.

At a press conference in San Jose, S3 joined VESA to unveil the first set of publicly available VUMA specifications that define how software and hardware developers can quickly develop UMA-based products. In addition, S3 and other VUMA members demonstrated the first publicly available VUMA components.

The UMA architecture enables more efficient use of system memory and enables high-performance, multimedia applications such as 3D graphics and MPEG playback in PCs. For example, S3's first UMA product, the Trio64UV+ graphics and video accelerator, eliminates the need for a separate graphics memory and enables system manufacturers to bring advanced video features and 64-bit performance to home PC users at entry-level prices.

"UMA revolutionizes a decade-old PC architecture by providing increased flexibility and performance at significantly lower system costs," said Glenn Schuster, Director of Marketing, Advanced Systems, S3 Inc. "This creates a win-win for everyone, particularly the end user, who is the ultimate beneficiary of systems with greater price/performance and usability."

The Trio64UV+ Solution

With the advent of S3's UMA-based Trio64UV+ solution, home PC users now have the option of spending less for a higher-performing entry-level PC. By simply eliminating the need for a separate graphics frame buffer, the Trio64UV+ accelerator can reduce the graphics subsystem cost by up to 60 percent and yet provide up to 90 percent of the performance.

Alternately, if the savings realized by removing the graphics frame buffer are invested in an L2 cache, the Trio64UV+ graphics accelerator can provide the fastest entry-level solution. This solution can deliver an average of five percent faster CPU/system performance and up to 20 percent faster graphics performance at the same cost as previous generation 32-bit, entry-level graphics solutions.

The Trio64UV+ chip is fully compliant with the VUMA standard, enabling developers to quickly and easily incorporate it into upcoming UMA systems. In addition, S3 provides software support for the Trio64UV+ controller through a VUMA-compliant video BIOS as well as drivers for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 3.11 and Windows NT; IBM OS/2, 2.1 and 3.0 (Warp); Autodesk AutoCAD and Microstation PC.

Multimedia Functionality

In addition to leveraging the high performance 64-bit graphics core of the highly successful S3 Trio64V+, the Trio64UV+ takes advantage of S3's Cooperative Accelerator ArchitectureTM solution to bring unprecedented multimedia functionality to entry-level PCs. The Cooperative Accelerator Architecture solution allows for video acceleration from S3's industry-leading Streams Processor technology, and the ability to directly connect to MPEG or live video through S3's Scenic Highway local peripheral bus.

S3's Streams Processor technology supports on-the-fly stretching and blending of a primary RGB stream and a secondary RGB or YUV/YCbCr (video) stream. Game and presentation effects include hardware double-buffering support for high-quality tear-free playback; 2-D scrolling and sprite plane support for higher performance; color and chroma keying for overlaying of graphics-onto-video and video-onto-graphics; and arithmetic blending of two pixel streams for fade-in/fade-out transition effects. Additionally, the Streams Processor technology provides hardware acceleration for Indeo, Cinepak, and software-accelerated MPEG-1 video playback.

The S3 Scenic Highway local peripheral bus offers a bi-directional protocol that couples video and graphics to improve system performance and interactivity. Based on a defacto industry standard interface supported by multiple third-party video chips, the Scenic Highway interface eliminates unnecessary, expensive glue logic, enabling a low-cost upgrade to live video and MPEG-1 peripherals such as S3's Scenic/MX2 MPEG decoder.

Price and Availability

The S3 Trio64UV+ graphic and video accelerator is priced at $19 each in quantities of 10,000 units. Samples are available now in industry-standard 208-pin Plastic Quad Flat Pact (PQFP) packaging, and volume production is expected in April 1996.

About S3

S3 Incorporated, headquartered in Santa Clara, California is a leading supplier of multimedia acceleration solutions for leading personal computer (PC) platforms and operating systems. S3 is committed to applying its expertise in audio, video and graphics acceleration hardware and software to create innovative and affordable products for the home, desktop and mobile markets.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely 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. -0-

Note to Editors: S3 is a registered trademark of S3 Incorporated. The S3 corporate Logo, Trio64UV+, Trio64V+, S3's Cooperative Accelerator Architecture, Streams Processor, Scenic Highway, Scenic/MX2 are trademarks of S3 Incorporated. Other notations of TM are trademarks of their respective firms. All tradenames referenced are the service mark, trademark, or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers

CONTACT: S3 Incorporated

Kelly Morris, 408/980-5400



Paul Crossley, 408/980-5400

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 8, 1996
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