S3 closes diamond

The company announced its withdrawal from the market in early August. That announcement was followed by the resignation of its chief financial officer.

"With the exception of hard-core gamers, people aren't as interested in upgrading as they once were," says Paul Crossley, an S3 spokesperson. "The PCs you buy today have a range of power that will last you for some time. So you buy something that will fit all your needs. And the add-in card business is not a very profitable business to be in anymore."

S3 recently partnered with Via Technologies in its chips business. It was seeking a similar partner - where the business would be continued and not dismantled - for its multimedia boards. S3 acquired Diamond just a year ago. It has recently marketed boards that use a mix of their technologies.

When S3 didn't find an appropriate partner, the company decided to shut down the business and redistribute the personnel to its more profitable internet appliance business. According to Crossley, several products are in development in this area, which concentrates on the manipulation and replay of digital music.

S3 will continue to supply and support the existing customers of Diamond Multimedia brand PC graphics cards, as well as existing channel partners and vendors who repackage its graphics cards, but will cease developing the line.

The news didn't surprise observers. Analyst Tim Bajarin says the company had lost steam, while graphics analyst Jon Peddie says the shutdown "had been expected for a while."

"S3 was one of the companies that made Windows work better," Bajarin says. "In the early days of the GUI, it was one of the first to realise and anticipate the demand for a third party chip set. But when graphics became mainstream, business suffered, and the company had to reinvent itself."

Diamond has been tarnishing, Peddie notes. "They have declined in market share quite rapidly, and the Diamond brand name for add-in boards has lost its luster," Peddie says. "They did well for a while filling existing contracts, but were unable to come up with a good enough new design to compete."

Often, it's only hard-core gamers and graphic designers who feel the need to add a third-party graphics board, Peddie adds. Contributing to this was the tendency of Intel to upgrade processor power more frequently, to the point where independent board designers could barely keep up, much less stay ahead.

Crossley says some layoffs will result from the move, but most of the 150 people affected by the shutdown will find positions elsewhere within the company.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Charles Bermant

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?