S3/SONICblue returns to high-end graphics
The former market leader for graphics chips, known under the name S3, SONICblue, plans to return to the market for high-end 3D graphics chips. Three months ago they started to design a new 3D chip. The first products will not be presented until the end of 2001.
At the moment, SONICblue does not yet agree whether it really makes sense to use more and more silicon for the same things, as modern 3D chips are very complex are. The GeForce2 from NVIDIA with 4 rendering pipelines and 22 million transistors already has more gates than the Athlon core (25 million) from AMD without the L2 cache. SONICblue is now thinking about reducing the drawn polygons by calculating hidden areas in advance (hardware HSR). It is also still unclear whether the new chip will work in workstations or as a game accelerator. What is certain, however, is that the new chip will be introduced in 2001.