Today VIA/S3 announced a new candidate in the mid-market graphics world with the release of a new ChromeS20 series of PCI Express GPUs.  These cards are going to be made by Fujitsu’s 90nm technology and offer a significant performance/watt advantage over current NVIDIA and ATI offerings.  I should have some contact with these parts soon so I’ll be able to get a more in-depth product analysis up later in the week.

Features on the chip include improved HDTV output, 700 MHz core clock, DDR3 memory and support for an SLI-like technology called MultiChrome.

Beijing, China, November 3rd, 2005 – S3 Graphics today launched its 4th generation DirectX® 9.0 graphics processor units (GPUs), the Chrome 20 series, with the introduction of the Chrome S20 range of desktop graphics accelerators that combines the richer integration of Fujitsu Limited’s 90nm process technology with S3 Graphics’ advanced Power Wise architecture for the most power efficient graphics in the industry.

The Chrome S20 series further enhances S3Graphics’ signature Hi-Def™ visual experience, complementing the native 1080p HDTV support and widescreen display capability with Chromotion™ 3.0, the next generation programmable video engine boasting hardware accelerated motion compensation and WMV-HD support. Delivering smooth playback of high definition content with ultra low CPU utilization and power draw, the Chrome S20 series is ideal for the home theater PC and media-centric digital living room market segments. The first two members of the Chrome S20 Series desktop GPU family are:

—      Chrome S27 – With a core clock of 700Mhz, Chrome S27 operates at the highest frequency of any GPU currently available, yet takes full advantage of its highly efficient design and ultra low power 90nm manufacturing to set new records for performance per watt. With flexible memory support up to DDR3, Chrome S27 also supports dual graphics implementations with the upcoming MultiChrome technology.

—      Chrome S25 – Brings superb 8 pixel shader performance to middle and value mainstream segments with a class-leading balance of features, price, performance and ultra low power draw, providing a smart new alternative in these competitive markets. With a 32-bit to 128-bit DDR2 memory interface, Chrome S25 introduces S3Graphics AcceleRAM technology to boost the performance of smaller memory configurations.

‘The Chrome S20 series is a clear demonstration of how advanced process technology coupled with a highly efficient design can deliver true value to the discerning PC user,’ said Dr. Ken Weng, General Manager of S3 Graphics. ‘Boasting such a rich feature set and extended memory support at prices at very competitive prices, Chrome S20 clearly represents the start of the future for the new S3 Graphics.’

The Chrome S20 series offers considerable flexibility in memory compatibility, including full support for DDR-1, cost effective DDR-2 and high speed DDR-3 memory technologies, serving up a wide variety of price/performance configurations for OEMs targeting the volume mainstream desktop market place.

Reflecting the company’s environmental drive, the complete range of Chrome 20 series is ROHS compliant, using lead-free wafer bumping, substrate construction, final packaging and assembly. Lead-Free readiness makes S3 Graphics’ latest products ideal for OEM and system builders planning for full ROHS compliance, which will become a requirement for systems targeted for sale by mid-next year in many global regions.