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SONICblue's FGL Graphics To Launch Fire GL4 Professional Graphics Accelerator; Fire GL4 To Be Offered On HP's Workstations; Also Available For Pre-Ordering At

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2001

FGL Graphics, a division of SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU), announced today that it is expanding its award-winning product family with the launch of the Fire GL4(TM), which can perform faster than any workstation graphics accelerator currently on the market.(1) The Fire GL 4 can be pre-ordered now at with a delivery date slated for mid-May.

"FGL Graphics is continuing to re-define the professional graphics market by introducing products with the highest levels of performance and affordability," said Ed Huang, vice president of business development for FGL Graphics. "We're also pleased to announce our collaboration with the Hewlett-Packard Company to provide performance enhancements to the Fire GL4."

The new Fire GL4 is a high performance 3D and 2D accelerator targeted at mid-range to high-end workstation systems incorporating Intel Pentium(R) III/IV or AMD Athlon(TM) class CPU performance. Based on the Fire GL3, the Fire GL4 is expected to be 25 percent faster at the same price as the Fire GL3. In addition, the Fire GL4 will utilize the same drivers as the Fire GL3, thus taking advantage of all the driver performance tuning and reliability of proven products. The Fire GL4 is based upon the RC1000/GT1000 chipset from the IBM visual products division, utilizing a 128MB frame buffer with 256-bit wide double data rate (DDR) SDRAM memory. RC1000 integrates all of the functionality of a VGA controller, including a 2D/3D raster engine with pipeline setup processor, plus a 300 MHz RAMDAC, in a single package. Video stream support is provided with a color space conversation and bilinear scaling unit. GT1000 incorporates a complete transform and lighting engine with texture coordinates and fog calculations performing at a 35GFLOPS rate. The chip implements the full OpenGL pipeline and most of the Direct3D geometry pipeline in the hardware. The board supports the industry standard AGP 4X port with sideband addressing and provides a bandwidth in excess of one GByte/s for host-related transfers.

The Fire GL4 offers leading edge 2D and 3D price/performance under Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Linux and is priced at $1,995. The unique combination of high performance, competitive pricing and a complete feature set, such as full scene antialiasing (FSAA), dual head output and a quad buffer stereo interface, makes it an ideal choice for OEM PC/Workstation requirements as well as an upgrade to existing NT desktop systems running OpenGL and Direct3D based applications.

Fire GL4 is an ideal choice for market segments such as Mechanical Engineering Analysis (MEA), Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD), Electrical Design Automation (EDA), Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE), Digital Content Creation (DCC) and business economic modeling.

FGL Graphics is additionally announcing a technology collaboration with HP, which has provided additional enhancements for the Fire GL4 to take the lead in 3D graphics performance.

"With the addition of HP graphics technology, we have exceeded the performance of all 3D solutions with the Fire GL4," said Jeff Wood, product marketing manager for HP's personal workstation line. "The Fire GL4 is the fastest 3D solution for our technical professional CAD and DCC customers and a welcome addition to our Leadership Graphics program."

About Fire GL Professional Graphics

Fire GL Professional Graphics, a division of SONICblue Incorporated, designs, develops and markets the Fire GL brand of OpenGL-based graphics accelerators and is a leading provider of solutions for the NT and Linux workstation markets. For more information about the award-winning line of Fire GL professional graphics accelerators, visit or

About SONICblue Incorporated (

A leader in the converging Internet, digital media and consumer device markets, SONICblue holds significant financial assets, global marketing capabilities and a focused technology portfolio that includes Rio(R) digital audio players, HomeFree(TM) home networking solutions, Diamond(TM) Internet access products and frontpath(TM) Information Appliances.

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements as to the expected availability, features and benefits of the Fire GL4, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, manufacturing difficulties, the availability of component products, possible delays in the release of other products, the impact of competitive products, and other risks detailed from time to time in the SEC reports of SONICblue Incorporated (formerly S3 Incorporated), including its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2000. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. SONICblue and Rio disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Note to Editors: SONICblue, HomeFree, Diamond and frontpath are trademarks of SONICblue. Rio is a registered trademark of RioPort, Inc. and is used by SONICblue under license from RioPort, Inc. Other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

(1) ProCDRS industry standard benchmark from Hewlett-Packard is available as of March 14, 2001 at http:///
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 14, 2001
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