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Bitboys unveils embedded DRAM 3D graphics chip

Basic version offers four times the throughput of existing cards, claims developer

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Finnish 3D graphics accelerator developer Bitboys yesterday took the wraps off its upcoming Glaze 3D technology, and announced two versions of the chipset, the 1200 and 2400. The company claims Glaze offers significant performance improvements over current 3D accelerators by eliminating the key bottleneck within a graphics card: the memory bus. The 150MHz Glaze chip will contain not only a graphics rendering core but up to 18MB of 0.2-micron embedded DRAM acting as a frame buffer. The technology also supports up to 256MB of SDRAM on an external 128-bit bus. According to Bitboys, a configuration of 72Mb embedded DRAM "gives the user a full memory bandwidth of 12GBps, compared with the 3GBps attainable with external SDRAM". The chipset supports a unified memory architecture so that texture data and various buffers can be shared across embedded DRAM, card SDRAM and system RAM via the AGP bus. Bitboys claimed the 150MHz Glaze 3D 1200 and 2400 will pump out 1200 million and 2400 million 32-bit texels per second, respectively. The chipset will also offer texture compression, single-pass trilinear filtering and environment-mapped bump-mapping. The Glaze 3D 1200 will contain 9MB of embedded DRAM and support 128MB of external SDRAM on the card; the 2400 sports 18MB of embedded DRAM and supports 256MB external DRAM. Both chipsets support DirectX 7.0, OpenGL 1.2, PCI and 4x AGP. Both versions also incorporate 2D acceleration, video in and MPEG-2 motion-compensated playback. They will be available in volume during Q1 2000, the company said. Bitboys' roadmap points to a Glaze 3D 4800, due for release later next year, which will combine four Glaze 3D chips for 36MB of embedded frame buffer and up to 512MB of external SDRAM. The company didn't reveal how the chips work together, but it claimed they do so without splitting the screen into discrete rendering areas or by interleaving scan lines. ®

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