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Intel readies GFX3 integrated graphics

Desktop Roadmaps
Tue Dec 16 2003, 14:28
CHIP GIANT INTEL is careful to position Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets, due to appear in the second quarter of next year, as products which will also support "discrete" cards such as those made by ATI, Nvidia, and now XGI.

Of course they will! Intel's partners are important to it!

The Grantsdale G, intended for the Prescott, has integrated graphics and similar features to Grantsdale P.

Grantsdale P, aside from supporting wireless application capabilities (Caswell), DDR2 533/400 and "legacy" DDR, also comes with PCI Express X16, Azalia Audio and will support the Prescott LGA 755 microprocessor.

Later chipsets - slated for the third quarter and dubbed Grantsdale GV and Grantsdale GL - will include what Intel describes as the third generation graphics products it is readying.

As we've reported numerous times before, PCI Express heralds the end of the AGP era, and we know from Nvidia, ATI, Via and SIS roadmaps we've seen that everyone is working towards this goal, which obviously won't happen overnight.

These new chipsets from Intel take advantage of PCI Express technology to offer better throughput on stacks of things in a PC - including graphics.

Intel, like a giant trawler, appears to be scooping everything up with vast nets from every level of the ocean of hardware. That includes Gigabit and future Ethernet technologies, the wireless application point market, and audio. Can it be very long before it seeks to scoop up the technology its valued partners also create in the graphics market?

We think it can't be very long at all. After all, the hardware is outstripping the software, and games developers find themselves faced with ever growing complexity. Intel's integrated GFX2 is more than adequate for the vast majority of consumers' needs. Will the graphics cards manufacturers be able to charge the hefty prices they do for discrete products very much longer? We suspect not, if Intel has its way. µ


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