The 3D Gaming—Cell Phone?

ATI and others want to take cell-phone graphics to another level.

The race for better graphics performance on PCs is a long-standing tradition. Now ATI and others want to take cell-phone graphics to the next level.

The ATI Imageon 2300 is the first 3D graphics coprocessor for wireless handsets and smart phones, according to ATI. It comes equipped with a full-featured graphics engine, including geometry processing of up to 1 million triangles per second, perspective correction, and dithering. The chip also has an MPEG-4 video decoder and video resolutions of up to 2 megapixels, making it ideal for camera phones with high-speed data access. The result is far better picture quality, even on a 2-inch screen, ATI claims.

Are 3D games really something people want to squint at on tiny displays? "Here in North America, were way behind Japan and Korea," points out Azzedine Boubguira, ATIs director of marketing for handheld products. "For a year and a half theyve been running 3D games there," he says, albeit with slow software rendering. Boubguira also notes that when ATI introduced graphics accelerators in laptops, "people laughed at us." Now they are a standard feature.

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