ATI announces HyperMemory tech

— 11:13 AM on September 17, 2004

ATI has let the world know about something it calls HyperMemory technology for its graphics processors. Here's the meat of the announcement:

MARKHAM, ON – September 17, 2004 – ATI Technologies (TSX:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT) today announced HyperMemory, an innovative technology that reduces PC system costs by allowing its visual processors to use system memory for graphics processing. HyperMemory uses the high-speed bi-directional data transfer capabilities of PCI Express to store and access graphics data in system memory, leading to less of a dependence on graphics memory and ultimately a lower overall system cost.

Under previous interconnect standards, the data transfer between the visual processor and the CPU was not fast enough for real-time graphics applications, so graphics cards have shipped with up to 256 MB of dedicated graphics memory to store textures and rendering data required by the graphics processor. HyperMemory gives ATI and its board partners the option to deliver cards with less on-board memory and instead use system memory to handle the graphics storage requirements. The result is a lower overall PC cost for the same great graphics performance.

Sounds to me like the old AGP DiME mode that nobody used. With PCI Express's big jump in available bandwidth, more extensive use of system memory certainly seems to make sense. The HyperMemory implementation looks to require hardware changes, though. ATI says: "Graphics cards featuring HyperMemory technology will be announced later this year." Hmmm.
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