Successor to S3 Savage chip launched

The new chip boasts improved graphics processing capabilities and support for DDR (double data rate) or SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory) memory with low power consumption. The latter feature is especially critical in the notebook PC market where lower power consumption translates into longer battery life for users on the move.

Other features of the chip, which is based around a 143MHz 128-bit SuperSavage 3D core, include a 12.5 million triangles per second set-up engine -- more than double that of the Savage processor. The chip also has hardware-accelerated DVD (digital versatile disc) playback and can support 1,600 by 1,200 pixel UXGA (Quad Ultra Extended Graphics Array) resolutions in full colour.

The company hopes the new chip will build on the success of its Savage IX/MX processors which, according to the company, have a 20 per cent share of the world mobile graphics chip market. Last year the company announced deals with Sony, NEC, Micron Electronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Toshiba to include the processors in their notebook computers.

Mass production of the SuperSavage is scheduled to begin in April 2001, the company said. The SuperSavage IX processor is expected to cost around $US38 per chip while the SuperSavage MX with 8MB of onboard memory is expected to cost around $US58 per chip, both in quantities of 10,000 chips.

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Martyn Williams

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