S3 announces native PCI Express for GammaChrome

— 4:13 AM on March 18, 2004

S3 dropped a press release into my inbox announcing a GammaChrome family of native PCI Express graphics solutions. However, there's not much in the way of details on what GammaChrome actually is, other than a native PCI Express graphics implementation.

A full line of GammaChrome graphics processors will be provided starting from the high end utilizing the latest fabrication technology to boast blazing speeds and solid performance, while the mainstream product will feature the balanced performance/cost/features that have defined this highly competitive segment.

Both the high-end and mainstream segments will feature the exciting next generation Chromotion 2.0 programmable video engine with new capabilities to enrich the video playback experience, increasingly important in today's PCs and Media Center PCs. S3 Graphics will also integrate their sought-after Hi-Def native HDTV output technology to compliment the Chromotion 2.0 engine. Finally, a value line of the GammaChrome will be available for the enthusiast who wants to share in the PCI Express experience without the high cost associated with newly developed technologies.

Given its name, it's probably safe to assume that GammaChrome is a next-gen product line based on S3's current DeltaChrome graphics chips. Since GammaChrome isn't due out until the third quarter of this year, it's not unusual to see S3 revealing so few details this early in the game.

Though the press release is short on details, S3 claims that GammaChrome will start as a high-end chip that will share technology with mainstream products. This is quite different from S3's DeltaChrome strategy, which has focused attention almost exclusively on mainstream graphics products and avoided competition with ATI and NVIDIA's high-end offerings. S3's apparent confidence in GammaChrome's ability to compete as a high-end part is encouraging, and the DeltaChrome S8 Nitro is certainly a good foundation to build on, but competing with ATI and NVIDIA's new generation of high-end graphics chips will be challenging to say the least.

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