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Kyro III delayed, Kyro II ‘Ultra’ delayed too

STMicroelectronics happy with Kyro II, apparently

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STMicroelectronics' successor to its well-regarded Kyro II chip appears to have been delayed. Not much, mind - instead of an anticipated late 2001 release, we should expect it to surface early 2002.

So say unnamed "STMicroelectronics officials", cited by Xbit Labs. They also noted that the company has put back the release, expected late summer, of the overclocked Kyro II, tentatively dubbed the Kyro II Ultra by fans of the chip.

Chip release dates are always something of a moveable feast, so we're not entirely surprised that the next-gen part has been delayed. The part is in "advanced development", according to its creator, Imagination Technologies' PowerVR division, whatever that means exactly. No specific reason is given for the Kyro III delay, but the so-called Ultra part appears to be that it's simply not needed right now. The Kyro II is selling nicely, so why bother? appears to be the company's line.

Which is odd, given how far the company's sales fell last quarter - down from $1.88 billion to $1.59 billion, since you ask. You'd have thought STMicro would be doing its best to build up support for Kyro. Then again, Kyro is just one chip among hundreds the company offers, so perhaps it's lack of focus shouldn't be surprising - Nvidia and ATI have the 'luxury' of working with graphics chips and graphics chips alone.

Xbit Labs notes that the Kyro II's architecture makes overclocking tricky - or at least not very efficient - and that too may be behind the 'Ultra's' delay. The new part is said to be a regular 175MHz Kyro II overclocked to 200MHz.

The Kyro III, by contrast, is a completely new generation of the architecture, fabbed at 0.13 micron, clocked at 250-300MHz, and with transform and lighting, and a four rendering pipelines. It will support up to 64MB of on-card DDR SDRAM. STMicro has committed itself to use the technology. ®

Bootnote

PowerVR has just released its software development kit for the Kyro family, allowing games coders to support the chips directly, to the public. The company didn't say why it had made the move, but expanding support for the platform has to be the prime motivation. The move should also make it easier for Linux developers to write and improve drivers for the various Kyro-based cards on the market.

Related Stories

STMicro confirms it will use 'Kyro III, IV' chips
Kyro II Ultra, Kyro III details emerge

Related Link

Xbit Labs: Kyro II Ultra Won't Arrive Yet

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