The return of S3 to the graphics market

"Things in 3Dville have been kind of dull lately. Only two major GPU makers seem active, and they're running close to even in both high-end and midrange categories. But things look to get a bit more interesting: S3 is back on the scene with its first new GPU architecture in five years. Rather than take aim at the high-end, S3 has set its sights on the midrange price/performance category, which is currently dominated by ATI's Radeon 9600 XT and nVidia's GeForce FX 5700, both of which are under $200. Today S3 unveils the DeltaChrome S8 GPU, which represents the midrange of its upcoming line of DeltaChrome GPUs.

It may seem hard to believe now, but ten years ago, S3 was the market leader for 2D-only GPUs. But as the 3D revolution gathered steam in 1996, it became clear that S3's ViRGE GPU wasn't going to allow S3 to maintain its dominant market position. In fact, the ViRGE became known as a "3D decelerator". The Savage 2000 architecture came next, promising single-cycle trilinear filtering and hardware-accelerated T&L. But serious driver issues prevented the GPU from ever finding its market.

Then S3 got very quiet. The graphics portion of the company was acquired by Via Technologies after S3 decided to become more of a consumer electronics player. Via took the S3 name, and the remnants of the old S3 were rechristened "Sonic Blue" VIA's vision for S3 was to primarily make integrated GPU cores, many of which power VIA's current chipsets, such as the CLE266.

S3 has now regrouped, and started from the ground up with a new DX9 architecture that seems to hold promise, but in a market that moves as fast as 3D graphics does, will S3 be able to run with the big boys again? We're here to tear into the DeltaChrome S8 to find that out. "

News source: Slashdot

View: Article @ Extreme Tech

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I would like to see them start making some decent graphics cards. Compition only brings out the best in every company. With only 2 major GPU makers right now, a 3rd would be very good. Now, if only we had a mainstream competitor for microsoft, we would have much better OS's.