3Dlabs to split off from Creative


— 11:45 AM on November 28, 2006

After spending four years as a subsidiary of Creative, 3Dlabs has decided to go do its own thing once again. The once-illustrious professional graphics company has revealed that it plans to spin off from Creative, a move 3Dlabs Europe President Hock Leow says Creative feels is "the best solution for its shareholders." 3Dlabs will become 3Dlabs Semiconductor, and as a result of its decision to ditch the workstation graphics market earlier this year, the firm will become a fabless producer of digital media processors.

3Dlabs Semiconductor's first product, dubbed the DMS-02, will be a multi-core, ARM-based array of programmable floating-point processors aimed at portable media players, high-end mobile phones, and other equipment. The processor will be able to handle video, audio, and 3D graphics, and 3Dlabs claims it will be the first handheld media processor capable of playing back high-definition 720p H.264 video.

The multi-core architecture uses two ARM 926EJ cores and currently runs Linux, but is OS independent and can operate on systems such as WinCE or Nucleus.

The device incorporates 24 floating-point processing elements, multi-level caches, three bi-directional video stream ports, 32 or 64-bit mobile memory for up to 1.6 GBytes/s bandwidth and peripheral interfaces to LCDs, CMOS sensors, IDE disks, USB OTG, flash memory and audio DACs.

The DMS-02 will be fabbed on a 130nm process by an unnamed foundry, and Creative plans to use it in one of its upcoming portable devices. 3Dlabs does't specify a release date for the DMS-02, but says it hopes to have finished separating from Creative by April 2007.
 
   
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