ATI kondigt de Radeon 256 3D-chip aan

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ATI heeft vandaag op de WinHEC officieel de nieuwe Radeon 256 3D-chip aangekondigd. Tot nu toe stond deze chip bekend onder de codenaam Rage 6. De Radeon 256 heeft alles wat je van een nieuwste generatie 3D-chip mag verwachten en kan een grote concurrent voor de nVidia GeForce 2 en 3dfx Voodoo5 worden. Op dit moment ben ik bijna klaar met een uitgebreid preview-artikel over de Radeon 256, wat je morgen online kunt verwachten.

Hieronder volgt een stuk uit de press-release. De volledige tekst kun je hier terugvinden:

ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT) today introduced the most powerful graphics processor ever designed for desktop PCs, the RADEON 256™ at Microsoft's annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WINHEC).

The new chip is a quantum step forward in 3D acceleration for both high-end gaming and 3D workstation graphics. RADEON 256 has the world's fastest hardware transformation, clipping and lighting (T&L) geometry engine and will drive the creation of an entirely new generation of 3D applications and content.

"Radeon 256 firmly establishes ATI in the high end, cutting-edge performance category of the PC and workstation markets," said KY Ho, chairman and CEO, ATI Technologies Inc. "ATI is committed to making significant, on-going investments to ensure a continuous stream of winning products in this category."

The new chip supports the following firsts:

Most advanced graphics chip ever designed, featuring 30 million transistors, in an .18 micron technology, giving it a higher transistor count than CPUs such as the Pentium III and Athlon.
First chip to support up to 128MB of double-data rate (DDR) memory at 200MHz
ATI's Charisma Engine™ which incorporates a 30 million triangle per second geometry engine as well as radical new 3D character animation techniques
First graphics chip to break through the Gigatexel barrier with an awesome 1.5 Gigatexel per second rendering engine
First PC graphics chip to include an on-chip hardware HDTV decoder
"ATI's latest generation, the RADEON 256, provides the most complete implementation we've seen to date of the DirectX7 Direct3D feature set and provides a good step toward the features of DirectX8," said Chas Boyd, graphics architect, DirectX, Microsoft. "By enabling full performance, hi-resolution gaming in 32-bit color, RADEON 256 finally makes today's 16-bit color games obsolete."

At the core of the RADEON 256 GPU is a trio of new technologies unique to ATI: The Charisma Engine for geometry processing, Pixel Tapestry™ for rendering, and Video Immersion™ for digital video.

Charisma Engine: ATI's Geometry Engine

Charisma combines the world's fastest geometry engine along with revolutionary new techniques for bringing 3D characters to life. The geometry engine supports full transformation, clipping, and lighting (T&L) at 30 million per second processing capability, resulting in a 10x improvement in 3D modeling detail relative to current CPU based geometry. Charisma supports cutting-edge character animation features, such as advanced vertex skinning and key frame interpolation. These effects are required in bringing game characters to life with realistic behaviors, fluid movements, and believable facial expressions including lip-synching.

Pixel Tapestry: ATI's Rendering Engine

Pixel Tapestry combines the world's fastest rendering engine along with an unprecedented new set of 3D special effects. It is the first graphics chip to break through the Gigatexel barrier with an awesome 1.5 Gigatexel per second rendering engine. The new chip's ability to process up to 3-textures concurrently, means unsurpassed performance in accelerating the coming wave of multi-textured game content. Because of its awesome rendering capability, RADEON 256 enables full performance in 32-bit color, which finally makes 16-bit color obsolete.

The list of unique features in Pixel Tapestry includes:
First with 3D texture support for new volumetric effects
First with all DX7 bump mapping effects (emboss, dot product 3 and EMBM)
First with hardware support for 3D shadows
First with advanced DX8 pixel shader effects
Comprehensive support for full scene, order-independent anti-aliasing

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