"Things in 3Dville have been kind of dull lately. Only two major GPU makers seem active, and theyre 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 ATIs Radeon 9600 XT and nVidias 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 S3s ViRGE GPU wasnt 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" VIAs vision for S3 was to primarily make integrated GPU cores, many of which power VIAs 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? Were here to tear into the DeltaChrome S8 to find that out. "
News source: Slashdot
View: Article @ Extreme Tech