NEC Corp is investing an astonishing $25m this year in VideLogic Plc’s PowerVR three-dimensional graphics accelerators, and four companies that have not yet announced, but which together account for 30% of the US personal computer market, are preparing to launch models aimed at the consumer market that will feature the VideoLogic chip. As well as NEC – which fabricates the chip for the Kings Langley, Hertfordshire company – companies declared the PowerVR chip include Compaq Computer Corp and Peacock AG. The NEC connection suggests that one of the four will be Packard Bell-NEC Electronics Inc, and Hewlett-Packard Co is also thought to be an enthusiast. Of the $25m NEC plans to invest this year, $16m is earmarked for business development with three-dimensional games writers, and the other $9m is for advertising, promotions, point- of-sale, retail site and similar initiatives. Games developers with products exploiting the chip include Psygnosis Ltd and Kalisto Entertainment Ltd. Developers will display a PowerVR Ready logo on their boxes. Companies adopting the PowerVR Ready programme include Activision Inc, Electronic Arts Inc, Sega Entertainment Ltd and Namco Ltd. The PowerVR architecture includes on-chip hidden surface removal, a unique method of texture mapping and reduced memory architecture. The next iteration of the PowerVR chip, which is due shortly, is expected to add features that developers have demanded, and to lower the unit price to about $40.