S3 Graphics recently announced its next generation Chrome 500 graphics processors and new Chrome 530 GT card. This new line comes with all of the A/V goodies you're after, including an on-board Dolby 7.1 digital surround sound processor and support for Blu-ray and streaming HD playback. These new cards also support DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 applications. What’s more, the cards have GPGPU (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) and ChromotionHD.
To speed-up 3D and non-gaming functions, DirectX, OpenGL, and GPGPU applications can be processed with programmable shader cores. Because the cards support Microsoft DirectX 10.1+ / OpenGL 3.0, you’ll be able to experience the next level of 3D graphics with real-life 3D rendering, improved anti-aliasing, image and texture improvements, higher precision formats, and programmable lighting effects.
The cards’ GPGPU (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) technology utilizes an array of S3 stream processors to accelerate parallel data workloads and perform work on thousands of concurrent threads to achieve Gigaflops of high-throughput computations. Image processing, video transcoding, and game physics are just a few of the applications that can utilize S3 GPGPU technologies.
Designed to offload video processing from the CPU and therefore save overall power, the cards use ChromotionHD Video Technology, which supports the latest HD standards, including H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV-HD, and AVS. This provides for dual-stream, Picture-in-Picture Blu-ray playback.
All Chrome 500 Series processors incorporate DisplayPort with HDCP, HDMI with HDCP, dual-link DVI with HDCP, and dual-channel LVDS transmitters to give you maximum connectivity to a range of monitors. Dolby 7.1 digital surround sound and HD Audio controllers are also integrated and supported natively in the GPU.
Chrome 500 Series GPUs use PCI Express 2.0 bus technology, which lets users take advantage of other S3 Graphics technologies, such as AcceleRAM, which makes use of system memory for image data storage, and MultiChrome Multi-GPU technology, which improves 3D rendering performance on games almost twofold.
The first product announced within the Chrome 500 Series is the Chrome 530 GT, which has a video core that is capable of dual-stream, Picture-in-Picture Blu-ray playback at lower power and clock speeds. The Chrome 530 GT consumes under 25W of power, making it ideal for HTPCs and DIY enthusiasts. The 512MB Chrome 530 GT with all of this functionality runs $44.95 on the GStore online retail outlet. Here’s a closer look at this card: