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Encyclopedia > S3 Graphics
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S3 Graphics, Ltd design graphics chipsets for PCs. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links S3_logo. ...

Contents


History

S3® was founded and incorporated in January 1989 by Dado Banatao and Ronald Yara. On March 5, 1993, S3 began an Initial Public Offering of 2,000,000 shares of common stock on Nasdaq. After several profitable years as an independent startup company, struggling with the transition to integrated 3D cards, S3 remodeled itself as a consumer electronics company and sold off its core graphics division to a joint venture with VIA Technologies for $323 million. The joint venture, S3 Graphics, continues to develop and market chipsets based the S3 graphics technology. In financial markets, an initial public offering (IPO) is the first sale of a companys common shares to public investors. ... Common stock, also referred to as common shares, are, as the name implies, the most usual and commonly held form of stock in a corporation. ... Jump to: navigation, search NASDAQ MarketSite (Times Square, New York City) at night NASDAQ (originally an acronym for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is a U.S. electronic stock exchange. ... VIA Technologies is a Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated circuits, mainly motherboard chipsets, CPUs, and memory, and is part of the Formosa Plastics Group. ...


The reformed company carried over a substantial cash pile from the profitable TRIO days and and a successful investment in UMC, a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry. On November 15, 2000, S3 changed its name to SONICblue and its Nasdaq stock symbol to SBLU. The new business model focused on digital media and information appliance opportunities. ReplayTV, Rio, and GoVideo, were some of the brands developed. On March 21, 2003, SONICblue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. ... A fab is a factory for producing integrated circuits. ... Chapter 11 is a part of the United States Code dealing with bankruptcy. ...


Products

S3 produce graphics cards primarily for PCs. While the earlier products such as the TRIO range were 2D only, later 3D functionality was added with the ViRGE and then Savage cards. More recently S3 chipsets have been sold as integrated VIA north bridge parts. The Virtual Reality Graphics Engine (ViRGE) graphics chipset was one of the first 2D/3D accelerators designed for the mass market. ... Jump to: navigation, search Savage was a product-line of PC graphics chipsets designed by S3. ... The northbridge is traditionally one of the two chips in the core logic chipset on a PC motherboard, the other being the Southbridge. ...


Graphics controllers

  • S3 911, 911A (1990) - S3's first Windows accelerators (16/256-color, high-color acceleration)
  • S3 924 - 24-bit true-color acceleration
  • S3 801, 805, 805i - mainstream DRAM Windows accelerators (16/256-color, high-color acceleration)
  • S3 928 - 24/32-bit true-color acceleration, DRAM or VRAM
  • S3 805p, 928p - S3's first PCI support
  • S3 Vision864, Vision964 (1994) - 2nd generation Windows accelerators (64-bit wide framebuffer)
  • S3 Vision868, Vision968 - S3's first motion video accelerator (zoom and YUV->RGB conversion)
  • Trio 32, 64, 64V+, 64V2 (1995) - S3's first integrated (RAMDAC+VGA) accelerator. The 64 bit versions were S3's most successful product range.
  • ViRGE DX, GX, GX2, VX, Trio3D - S3's first Windows 3D-accelerators. Notoriously poor 3D. Sold well to OEMS simply because of price and solid 2D-performance.
  • Savage 3D(1998), 4, 2000 (2000)- S3's first recognizably modern 3D hardware implementation. Flawed transform and lighting, poor yields meant actual clock speeds were 30% below expectations, and buggy drivers. S3TC went on to become an industry standard, and the Savage3D's DVD acceleration was market leading at introduction.
  • Aurora64V+, S3 ViRGE/MX, SuperSavage, SavageXP - Mobile chipsets
  • ProSavage, Twister, UniChrome - Integrated implementations of Savage chipset for VIA motherboards
  • GammaChrome, DeltaChrome - Discrete Savage hardware post acquisition by VIA.
  • S3 GenDAC, SDAC - VGA RAMDAC with high/true-color bypass( SDAC had integrated PLLs, dot-clocks, and hardware Windows cursor)

Media chipsets Jump to: navigation, search For the Temptations album, see 1990 (Temptations album) MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Virtual Reality Graphics Engine (ViRGE) graphics chipset was one of the first 2D/3D accelerators designed for the mass market. ... Jump to: navigation, search Savage was a product-line of PC graphics chipsets designed by S3. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1998(MCMXCVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the year 2000. ... S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) (sometimes also called DXTn or DXTC) is a group of related image compression algorithms originally developed by S3 Graphics, Ltd. ...

  • Sonic/AD sound chipset - A programmable, sigma-delta audio DAC, featuring an integrated PLL, stereo 16-bit analogue output
  • SonicVibes - PCI Audio Accelerator
  • Scenic/MX2 - MPEG Decoder

Market Trends

From formation in 1989 it took S3 two years to develop the world's first single-chip Graphical User Interface (GUI) accelerator. Integrated functionality enabled attractive pricing, and solid features for competitive prices remained a hallmark of S3's strategy. Jump to: navigation, search A graphical user interface (or GUI, sometimes pronounced gooey) is a method of interacting with a computer through a metaphor of direct manipulation of graphical images and widgets in addition to text. ...


S3's most notable product range is the S3 TRIO 2D chipset. It remains one of the best selling graphics chipsets of all time. Updated in a number of timely revisions, each time S3 managed to keep the series one step ahead of the competition.


However, TRIO was a 2D range, and by the mid 1990s consumers and OEMs started to demand 3D functionality from graphics cards. Internally, S3 failed to recognise this transition quickly enough, and had to rush out the S3 ViRGE range of 3D cards. While cheap, and popular with some OEMs for this reason, performance and drivers were poor. Some enthusiasts even nicknamed them graphics decelerators. The Virtual Reality Graphics Engine (ViRGE) graphics chipset was one of the first 2D/3D accelerators designed for the mass market. ...


The integrated modern style 3D feature produced by S3, was the Savage series of graphics cards. Notably these pioneered S3TC under the proprietary METAL API interface, subsequently adopted by Microsoft under royalty, as an industry standard for texture texture compression in DirectX. Jump to: navigation, search Savage was a product-line of PC graphics chipsets designed by S3. ... A GeForce 4 4200-based graphics card A graphics card or video card is a component of a computer which is designed to convert a logical representation of an image stored in memory to a signal that can be used as input for a display medium, most often a monitor... S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) (sometimes also called DXTn or DXTC) is a group of related image compression algorithms originally developed by S3 Graphics, Ltd. ... Jump to: navigation, search Spherical texture mapping Texture mapping is a method of adding realism to a computer-generated graphic. ... Jump to: navigation, search The current official DirectX logo. ...


Savage also introduced an industry-leading motion compensation engine, a quality video scaler, as well as hardware alpha-blended sub-picture blending, a first. However, the 3D performance of the Savage cards was never quite enough to take significant market share. Poor yields meant actual clock speeds were 30% lower than had been projected during development, and the transform and lighting engine implementation was flawed. Motion compensation is a way of describing the difference between consecutive frames in terms of the where each section of the former frame has moved to. ... Alpha blending is a convex combination of two colors allowing for transparency effects in computer graphics. ... Jump to: navigation, search Transform and Lighting is a computing term used in computer graphics, generally used in the context of hardware acceleration (Hardware T&L). Transform refers to the task of converting coordinates in space, which in this case involves moving 3D objects in a virtual world and converting...


It became apparent the excellence of S3's integrated 2D technology, was no longer enough to ensure the overall success of the chipset. While S3 could have continued development of the Savage cards, and most likely resolved the outstanding issues, instead in 2001 the S3 management decided to sell off the core business to VIA for $323 million.


Subsequently, Savage derived chips turned up in numerous VIA motherboard chipsets as an integrated north bridge solution, such as Twister and UniChrome. More recent discrete derivations have carried the brand names DeltaChrome and GammaChrome. In this manner, S3 derived chips have held onto about a 10% share of the overall PC graphics market.


SONICblue

SONICblue was an American consumer electronics company resulting from the 1999 merger between computer peripheral maker Diamond Multimedia and graphics chipset maker S3 Incorporated. Jump to: navigation, search 1999(MCMXCIX) is a common year starting on Friday Anno Domini (or the Current Era), and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... Diamond Multimedia is a company that specializes in many forms of multimedia technology. ...


In November 2000, the combined company changed its name to SONICblue and changed its focus from graphics chipsets and computer peripherals to consumer electronics, such as the Rio line of MP3 players. In January 2001, the graphics chipset business was sold to a joint venture between SONICblue and VIA called S3 Graphics. Later that same year, the company bought ReplayTV, a maker of PVR systems, and Sensory Science Corporation, a company selling dual-deck DVD/VCR systems under the GoVideo brand name. Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the year 2000. ... Rio was the brand name of a line of digital audio players, best known for producing the model that was sued in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... VIA Technologies is a Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated circuits, mainly motherboard chipsets, CPUs, and memory, and is part of the Formosa Plastics Group. ... ReplayTV is a brand of digital video recorder (DVR), a term synonymous with personal video recorder (PVR). ...


On March 21, 2003, SONICblue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold off its main product lines. Jump to: navigation, search March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code governs the process of reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. ...


On April 16, 2003, D&M Holdings, the parent company of Denon Ltd. and Marantz Japan Inc. purchased virtually all operating assets from SONICblue and now produces ReplayTV and Rio units under a new subsidiary, Digital Networks North America (DNNA), Inc. The last piece of the company was effectively sold in late 2003, when Best Data acquired the Diamond's Supra modem business along with rights to the Diamond Multimedia name for use in a new video card division. Jump to: navigation, search April 16 is the 106th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (107th in leap years). ... D&M Holdings (TYO: 6735) is a Japanese corporation that owns several audio and video brands. ... Denon is a Japanese electronics company that specializes in high-fidelity audio equipment. ... Marantz is a company that develops and sells high-fidelity audio electronics products. ...


External links

  • S3 Graphics
  • Chrome-Center
  • S3.com products cached from 1997
  • VIA Graphics
  • Firingsquad: S3: From Virge to Savage 2000
  • Xbitlabs: The Return of S3: DeltaChrome Graphics Card Review
  • Extremetech: The Return of S3
  • Techreport: A look at S3's DeltaChrome
  • sonicblue

  Results from FactBites:
 
S3 Inc. and SONICblue company and contact information (288 words)
If you have a computer using a S3 graphics chipset you will need to get support from the computer manufacturer.
Originally founded in 1989, S3 Inc. was a large manufacturer of computer video solutions.
As seen in the below news section S3 graphics portion was later transferred into part of VIA technologies and is now S3 Graphics.
S3 Graphics: Information from Answers.com (1089 words)
S3 was founded and incorporated in January 1989 by Dado Banatao and Ronald Yara.
S3 Texture Compression went on to become an industry standard, and the Savage3D's DVD acceleration was market leading at introduction.
In January 2001, the graphics chipset business was sold to a joint venture between SONICblue and VIA called S3 Graphics.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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