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S3 closes Diamond graphics board biz

Operation to wither and die

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S3's shift from chip company to a home-oriented digital media and Internet operation almost reached its conclusion yesterday when the company announced the closure of its consumer graphics card operation.

S3 admitted that it wasn't able to sell the operation off, but that's no great surprise, perhaps, given the cutthroat nature of the graphics add-in board business.

The shutdown isn't total - S3 will continue to "supply and support... OEM customers, channel partners and end-users" of the current Diamond-branded line-up. It's simply that future products will now no longer be developed. OEMs and resellers should quickly seek out alternative products, allowing S3 to exit from the business gracefully in the not-too-distant future.

Curiously, S3 isn't getting rid of its professional-oriented FireGL family of products, which will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary. FireGL designs boards based on IBM OpenGL-oriented graphics chips. Presumably, S3 feels the FireGL operation's distance - it's based in Germany - won't get in the way of the company's new focus, and could in any case be making the company money. ®

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