New Graphics Chips on Display at Computex Show

Vendors of graphics processors showed a variety of chips aimed at both desktop and mobile applications.

TAIPEI, Taiwan—The battle of top graphics card contenders knows no boundaries.

While Nvidia seized the moment at this weeks Computex show here to introduce a major new product line, its main rival ATI Technologies decided to keep its next major release under wraps for a little while longer.

Nvidia launched the nForce 3 media and communications processor for AMDs line of 64-bit processors at Computex. Its nForce 3 offers dual support for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. The chip also incorporates technologies such as HyperTransport to optimize data throughput and support for the AGP 8X standard.

The nForce 3 was introduced as part of a line of products that also includes the GoForce 2150 media processor for mobile devices, as well as the ForceWare media software suite. Nvidia executives described the GoForce 2150 as the industrys "fastest and lowest-power-consuming media processor for mobile phones with integrated digital cameras."

Nvidias new line is the first mobile media processor with support for capturing photographic images at 1.3-megapixel resolution, and provides a 64-bit graphics processing engine, an advanced JPEG compression engine, video processing engine, embedded memory for LCD frame buffer and LCD controller. The company designed the GoForce 2150 for handsets and other mobile devices with integrated cameras, and said the chip operates "at a fraction of the power required by current solutions."

This years Computex show broke a 22-year record for attendance despite a delay of several months due to the SARS epidemic. Rather than compete with Nvidia for attention at Computex, ATI opted to officially launch the 9800XT later, when the clamor of Computex subsides.

However, ATI did take the opportunity of Computex to show off the All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro Multimedia Video Card, and to declare its own commitment to 64-bit compatibility.

Regardless of how the 9800XT and nVidias latest crop of nForce and GeForce FX products fare in the market, the two companies are likely to remain the primary competitors in the graphics arena for some time to come.

Still, at least a couple of potential rivals emerged Computex. XGI Technology Inc. of Taipei, demonstrated its latest Volari line, which includes the Volari Duo, a graphics card that supports dual GPUs. S3 Graphics Inc., a joint venture with Via Technologies Inc., also had its latest Delta Chrome GPUs on display. The processors feature the worlds first native High-Def HDTV support and a programmable video engine.