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S3, UMC claim graphics breakthrough

First .18 micron graphics chip in ze world?

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S3 and Taiwanese foundry UMC Group claimed today they had jointly produced the graphics industry's first .18 micron design. According to the companies, the development of the process means higher performiung graphics accelerators that beat the Pentium II in terms of gate complexity. Paul Franklin, senior VP of operations at S3, crowed: "While many other graphics competitors are still taping out their initial .25 micron designs, we have already successfully produced three .25 micron designs with UMC Group. The yields for our .25 micron products have already reached levels comparable to our achievements at the previous generation." Jim Kupec, president of UMC US, said: "Although we were not the world's first dedicated foundry, we were the first to offer production capacity at .25 and .22 micron." The .18 micron design will be introduced in the first half of next year, the companies said. S3 and UMC have a close relationship, with the former owning 16 per cent of the latter's equity. Over 30 per cent of the foundry's business comes from S3. ®

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