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Technology / AI and automation

NEOMAGIC LAUNCHES GRAPHICS ACCELERATORS

Start-up company NeoMagic Corp, out of Santa Clara, California, has announced its first products, a family of graphics chips for mobile personal computers. The company is claiming performances in excess of anything thus far achieved by desktop personal computers, with reduced power consumption, and says it’s the first company to have integrated complex logic with dynamic RAM. The company says the chip’s lower power consumption has been achieved by eliminating the input-output signals between the controller and the chip. It is on the basis of this technology, which NeoMagic has called MagicWare, that the chip series, called MagicGraph, has been designed. NeoMagic’s first product, the MagicGraph NM2070, is said to offer a 128-bit graphics memory architecture that has four times the memory bandwidth typically found in notebook systems and twice that achieved by 64-bit desktop accelerators. When implemented in a notebook, the NM2070 is said to produce the same graphics response times as desktop personal computers. The NM2070 has a Super VGA accelerator, Peripheral Component Interconnect and VESA, Video Electronic Systems Association Local-bus interfaces, RAMDAC digital-to-analogue converter, frequency synthesiser, liquid crystal display controller and the equivalent of 1Mb of graphics RAM memory on a single integrated chip. A video port, based on the VESA Advanced Feature Connector, VAFC, standard is provided on the chip for real-time video input. And NeoMagic claims all this performance improvement has been achieved with a concomitant reduction in power consumption of 50%. The single chip, 176-pin package is said to provide better than a 60% space saving compared with other graphics chip sets available for notebooks. The MagicGraph NM2070 is available now in sample quantities at $85 with volume next quarter with volume pricing below $75 per unit. The company expects the first mobile products using MagicGraph to be announced this autumn, but has not said who is taking the product; it says it has secured foundry capacity for the part to meet expected demand. NeoMagic was founded by Prakash Agarwal, previously vice-president and general manager of the portable products group at Cirrus Logic Inc, and Kamran Elahian, founder and president of mobile computer maker Momenta Corp and previously co-founder of Cirrus, in 1993. The company has secured $11m venture capital funding from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, US Venture Partners and Japan Associated Finance Co Ltd.

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CBR Staff Writer

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