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S3 unveils Savage 2000

War with Nvidia, 3dfx heats up

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S3 yesterday took the wraps off its upcoming Savage 2000 part, which the company claimed is the first 0.18 micron graphics acceleration chip. The Savage 2000's feature set is impressive. The chip will sport S3's integrated transform and lighting engine, the company's texture compression technology, dual pixel/dual texture pipeline, 128-bit memory bus supporting up to 64MB video RAM, hardware bump mapping, anisotropic filtering, an 8-bit stencil buffer, support for 16-, 24- and 32-bit z-buffers, DVD playback with motion comp. and sub-picture blending, and support for all HDTV resolutions. That said, it will need to be impressive to compete not only with Nvidia's next-generation part, the NV10, due to be announced later today, but with 3dfx's upcoming Voodoo 4, with its T-buffer technology -- capable, 3dfx claims, of adding movie-standard special effects to games. Savage 2000-based boards are set to ship before Christmas and will include flat-panel display support, AGP 2x and 4x, and a 350MHz RAMDAC. The chips themselves will ship in two varieties: the plain Savage 2000, with a 143-150MHz core and memory speeds up to 166MHz, and the 2000 Plus, which boosts the core speed into the 166-200MHz range and supports memory speeds up to 200MHz. ®

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