SGS Thomson Microelectronics NV believes it has developed one of the world’s fastest and most feature-rich 128-bit 3D graphics accelerator chipsets for personal computers in the Riva. To reach its target market of personal computer OEM’s in Europe, it has teamed with Germany’s computer graphics and datacommunications maker Elsa GmbH. Elsa is the first company to adopt the Riva in Europe, for use in its newly launched Elsa Victory Erazor, a graphics board aimed at the consumer market that offers high quality 3D graphics, as well as video input and output. Elsa says the Victory Erazor delivers full support for Microsoft Corp’s Direct3D applications programming interfaces and supports Windows 95 applications with no degradation at all. SGS Thomson’s problem in selling the Riva 128 in Europe is that it reckons there are some 20 million personal computers sold in Europe each year, of which only 9 million contain motherboards that are made in Europe and only 3 million of these are fully designed and manufactured in Europe, so it is looking to Elsa, which designs and manufactures most of its products, including the Gloria card for high performance 3D graphics, in Germany. The Elsa Victory Erazor will be sold in retail outlets, but the company is particularly targeting it at the smaller of the large systems integrators. It comes with two video output slots and three video input, cables and software drivers. It enables video conferencing and video capture and will be available in November for around 150 pounds retail in Europe. It should be available in the US by the end of December, when it will output video in the PAL format.
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