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September 19, 1995

SALES OF CHIPS WITH THREE-DIMENSIONAL CAPABILITY SET TO SOAR

By CBR Staff Writer

Mercury Research Inc, Scottsdale, Arizona has predicted that the number of computer chips with built-in three-dimensional capabilities will increase 15 times by the year 2000. Currently, about 8m chips are being shipped per year, but that should rise to 120m by the end of the century. Only a few companies are now producing three-dimensional graphics boards for personal computers, but demand is rising, and should carry on rising as video games become more and more realistic, and virtual reality modelling becomes a more mainstream part of computer use. Singapore-based Creative Technology Ltd, which already produces a widely-used range of multimedia add-ons, is pushing three-dimensional capabilites to try and regain its multimedia laurels after recent financial disasters surrounding the company. Creative views the 3D card as the next step on from the sound card. The technology will quickly become an integral part of the home personal computer, said the company. It is currently working on its own board which it plans to release in time for Christmas. The 3D Blaster promises greatly improved performance on the whole range of three-dimensional games and utilities, and a UK price tag describe only as very aggressive. The board will include three-dimensional grap hics and sound and will out perform even the newest games consoles. In tests, rendering is even faster than some graphics workstations, promised the company. It seems likely that the use of three-dimensional hardware will see a massive increase in the next few years, and Creative at least is in no doubt about what will be driving the mass market for the forseeable future – games. The sound card took off because of games players. The CD-ROM drive only really became popular after 7th guest. We are working with the larger names in entertainment software to develop games compatible with the 3D Blaster, and we will soon see games appearing with far more detail and realism, it said.

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