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S3 Graphics: on Columbia release and Alpha Chrome family evolution

There´s info about more exact plans of S3 Graphics, the subdivision of VIA Technologies concerning its graphics core line development.

The new Alpha Chrome graphic cores supports DirectX 7 specifications, being made according to the 0.15 micron process technology including 6-layer metallization. So, what products will this line include?

S3 Graphics plans to release four Alpha Chrome modifications:

Alpha Chrome A separate GPU
Alpha Chrome M16 16 MB GPU
Alpha Chrome 333 For integration into Pentium 4 / Banias chipsets
Alpha Chrome 333k For integration into Hammer chipsets

A single-chip Alpha Chrome works at 166 MHz (183 MHz memory). Alpha Chrome M16 chips will feature 16 MB of memory, packaged using MCM technology.

The company also plans to produce an advanced Alpha Chrome Prime core using process technology, different from used for Alpha Chrome: the new chip wil feature 7 instead of 6 layers; it will also have higher clock rate of 200 MHz. The new chip is expected before the end of 2002.

The chipset-integrated Alpha Chrome 333 version makes its debut as the solution for Intel´s platform — P4N333 chipset. Then, in the first half-year of 2003, the company plans to release Alpha Chrome 333k — for Hammer platform. Perhaps, there will be 16 MB or 32 MB variants (MCM), decision pending.

It´s already known that there will be two versions of Alpha Chrome 333k: without external AGP support and supporting AGP 4x/8x.


The release of DirectX 9 Columbia chip is to become the next important event. Its samples are expected in the 4Q, 2002, and the mass production is planned to the first half-year of 2003, almost at the same time with the production of DirectX 9 Xabre II chip from SiS.

Columbia chips are expected to feature about 300 MHz clock rates (300 MHz memory clock rate as well), being made according to the 0.13 micron proccess technology. Besides, mobile and desktop PC versions are also to be presented.



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