Startup Lucid Promises 3D Graphics Game Changer

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News Posted: Mon, Jul 14 2008 9:08 AM

With a tag line of "Any GPU, Unlimited Possibilities", you can imagine our collective geek meters were pegged when we received word from a contact at Israeli startup Lucid Logix about the company's formal debut announcement.  And Lucid's roll-out press release went on to tease a bit more... 

"The real-time distributed processing engine, called HYDRA™, offers a groundbreaking approach to scaling 3D graphics performance in a multi-GPU environment. Outlined for the first time on the new Lucid Web site at www.lucidlogix.com, the novel technology is the industry’s first to work with any GPU, any CPU or chipset and on any application that gamers and professionals may choose.

The HYDRA engine combines a system-on-chip with exclusive software technologies that efficiently load-balances graphics processing tasks, delivering another industry breakthrough:  near-linear to above-linear performance with two, three or more graphics cards. All together, the technology means people will be able to customize and tweak their PC to achieve the price, performance and power balance they want – whether it is a mainstream system or a high-performance gaming package."

Hang on a second, let's get our heads around this a bit.  This thing isn't a GPU and it's not a motherboard chipset but it's a sort of GPU loadbalancer, right?  Check, that's the long and short of this new technology but perhaps it's the performance claims that really get our attention.  Not only is HYDRA able to co-join GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD-ATI, as the diagram to the left shows but the claim is that we'll see a "near-liner" to "above linear" performance boost;  Hello?  Just how can we expect an "above linear" gain from two GPUs working in unison?  We've lobbed a few pointed questions over the wall to our contacts at Lucid and will update this story if more detail becomes available.

Coined a "real time distributed processing engine" the Lucid team is developing an SoC (System On a Chip) technology that allows mixing and matching of GPUs with a claimed efficiency that even the likes of NVIDIA and AMD haven't been able to achieve as of yet.  Backed by VC firms Giza VC, Genesis Partners and Intel Capital, the company and technology, if it gains any significant traction, could shake up the landscape big time and of course be a prime target for acquisition by any of the major players in the 3D Graphics arena. 

The company was actually formed back in 2003 by a few industry veterans including former Silicon Graphics pioneer, Efraim Fogel.  According to their release, Lucid is already engaged with major OEMs and ODMs targeting platform solutions for either motherboard or graphics card applications.  Reportedly the HYDRA engine requires no modification to existing graphics driver software to function with standard graphics applications like DirectX.   More on the announcment can be found here.




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Lev_Astov replied on Mon, Jul 14 2008 9:33 AM
Geek Meter = 1.00

That's ridiculously cool. I really hope this pans out. Now they just have to work out how to lose the polygons in games and do everything with NURBS.

><((((">Lev Astov

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Jul 14 2008 10:56 AM
I will believe it when I see it.

I don't understand how this technology is doing anything different than ATI's Crossfire, other than working with disimilar cards. There's nothing technical on their website to give me reason to believe it will perform any better.

-J

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3vi1:
I will believe it when I see it.
I too am a hard sell.

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nECrO1967 replied on Sun, Jul 20 2008 4:29 PM

I'm a hard sell as well but DAMN! What a tease. I would hope their PR department was that hell bent on suicide right out of the gate. Think about it, 1 frame per second less than linear and they are toast. Can't wait to see how this pans out.

 

I used to carry a hammer in my computer tool kit. Just for fixing the packard Bells though.......

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 does seem a bit to good to be true. I can see this being a windows nightmare to be honest. SO lets say I am running an AMD card and a Nvidia card would I then require 2 seperate drivers. How would they not conflict.

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nECrO1967 replied on Mon, Jul 21 2008 10:13 AM

Very good point. As it is now if you upgrade from one to another you have to run Driver Cleaner Pro and pray it works. I run it twice just to be sure. Even then you have a chance of needing to reinstall Windows.

I used to carry a hammer in my computer tool kit. Just for fixing the packard Bells though.......

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replied on Mon, Jul 21 2008 11:57 AM

 That is awesome if it works. They have some really smart engineers in Israel. It was the Intel Israeli team responsible for core 2 design. So, anything is possible.

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