London, UK and Santa Clara, Calif. Sept. 10, 1998 Today VideoLogic and NEC Electronics Inc. announced that mass production chips utilizing the leading-edge PowerVR Second-Generation Technology have been delivered to SEGA for its new generation game console, Dreamcast.
The PowerVR second-generation family of graphic processors will be called "PowerVR Series2", with the first chip utilizing PowerVR Second-Generation Technology for Sega's Dreamcast game console being named "PowerVR 2DC".
Additionally, plans for the high-performance PowerVR second-generation PC chips are being revealed, which include the early debut of a more optimized version, with reduced die size and smaller packaging, and expected time-scales for delivery of the first PC PowerVR second-generation chips.
Charles Bellfield, Product Marketing Manager, NEC Electronics, says: "PowerVR 2DC is the first 0.25 micron process 3D graphics processor in full production. We are also pleased to announce that the first PC device, based upon PowerVR Series2, has entered fabrication and we are expecting to be able to release early evaluation samples by November, 1998. The more optimized version is planned to go into volume production by the end of this year."
The high performance PowerVR Series2 chip used in the recently announced next generation Dreamcast game console from Sega has recently completed its final evaluation and qualification and is now in full production, meeting the Dreamcast's November Japanese launch schedule. Dreamcast's graphics performance is well over three million polygons/sec with a fill rate peak exceeding 1GigaPixels/s.
This easily represents more than 20 times the performance of the current generation consoles as well as substantially higher performance than the existing high-end arcade systems and advanced graphics workstations. This fantastic level of performance is being achieved while delivering an unprecedented range of advanced and unique 3D features, providing the most dynamic and realistic gaming experience possible in real-time 3D systems.
Mr. Hideki Sato, Corporate Senior Vice President (Consumer Products Business Group, Sega) says: "With the unrivalled performance levels and the very advanced capabilities we are confident that Dreamcast will totally revolutionize the video-game market and will define a completely new level of gaming experience. We are very pleased to see Dreamcast enter production on schedule and plan to ship more than one million units of Dreamcast, in Japan alone, before the end of 1998 after the first shipment in November."
PowerVR Series2 based solutions for the arcade market are currently in a highly advanced position. "We believe that arcade systems based on PowerVR Series2 will play a very major part in this demanding and exciting market and more information will be made public shortly," adds Bellfield.
PowerVR high-performance second-generation PC chip plans have changed since the February announcement of the technology, with PC chips now available later than originally planned. There are two reasons for this:
Firstly, based on customer requirements and the recent market trends in the high performance PC graphics market, VideoLogic and NEC decided to accelerate the development of a more cost-optimized version of the device (originally planned for early 1999). This resulted in the delay of the first PC chip as some of the resources were used on the more optimized version.
Both versions have the same market-leading 2D and 3D graphics performance and use the same 3D core as PowerVR 2DC. Secondly, the first PowerVR PC chip is following the console version through the NEC 0.25 micron production process.
In February of this year, VideoLogic and NEC announced the highly advanced PowerVR Second-Generation Technology and associated cross-platform 3D graphics strategy. Providing a scalable 3D technology spanning the games console, arcade and PC markets puts PowerVR in the unique leadership position of being the only 3D technology currently announced that will deliver 3D graphics processors for all three major consumer entertainment markets.
Says Trevor Wing, Vice President, Technology Marketing And Sales, VideoLogic Ltd: "The second-generation 3D scalable base core is common but each chip integrates different connection busses, I/O, and peripheral interfaces and functionality optimized for the target platform in each market. In addition each specific chip uses the scalability inherent in PowerVR architecture and tunes the high performance 3D core appropriately for balanced performance, cost and feature set."
The silicon technology used for all PowerVR Series2 products is the new and advanced NEC deep sub-micron 0.25 process. Development is carried out by separate teams working on console, arcade, and PC products in parallel using common logic and libraries wherever possible.
The PC market is a fundamental part of PowerVR's unique multi-platform strategy alongside console and arcade markets. Follow-on PC devices with further capability enhancements are already under development for introduction in line with PC industry product cycles, and will futher extend PowerVR's leadership position.
About PowerVR Second-Generation Technology
The PowerVR Second-Generation graphics technology for game consoles, personal computers and arcade systems achieves industry-leading performance and superior image quality at consumer price points. PowerVR's cross-platform strategy benefits system manufacturers, game developers and game players by increasing the demand for the latest premium-featured 3D hardware and software. PowerVR Second-Generation is API-neutral with support for Direct X, native PowerVR API and Open GL advanced features. Five chip-level products will be based on PowerVR Second-Generation technology.
VideoLogic Group plc is an international company which develops, designs and supplies market-leading 2D/3D graphics accelerator and audio products for PCs, games consoles and arcade entertainment machines. Since it was founded in 1985, the company has introduced, directly or via licensing arrangements, a succession of innovative silicon chips and add-in boards which have played a major role in the development of multimedia and computer-based entertainment systems. VideoLogic has its corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (FOOTSY:VDO). Product details, news, technical support and the latest software are all available on the VideoLogic web site at www.videologic.com.
About NEC Electronics Inc.
NEC Electronics Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., designs, manufactures and markets an extensive line of electronic products including ASICs, microprocessors and microcontrollers, graphics accelerators, digital signal processors (DSPs), memories and components, including flat panel displays and lithium-ion batteries. The company operates a 709,000-squre-foot manufacturing facility in Roseville, Calif. NEC Electronics is an affiliate of NEC Corporation (NIPNY), a multibillion international manufacturer of computer, communications and semiconductor products. For more information about products offered by NEC Electronics Inc., please visit the NEC U.S. Web site at http://www.nec.com.