Trident Microsystems Inc. has teamed for a second time with Acer Laboratories Inc. to develop an integrated PC graphics core-logic chipset that provides double- and single-data-rate SDRAM support for Intel's Pentium III microprocessors.
The CyberAladdinT rollout comes as graphics rival Nvidia Corp. this week prepares to launch a similar product for AMD's Athlon 4 notebook processor, as EBN previously reported.
The new Trident-ALi chipset follows the companies' release last year of an integrated notebook offering for Intel's Celeron and Pentium III CPUs. The earlier chip, however, did not support DDR.
Performance attributes of the Cyber-AladdinT were not disclosed, but the chipset is based on a DX7 core and features a dual pipe and 128-bit GPU, according to the companies.
These features will help "bring the 3D gaming experience to mainstream notebook PCs," said Le Nguyen, assistant vice president of graphics marketing at Trident, Santa Clara, Calif.
For OEMs, the integrated device offers power and cost savings, according to Nguyen.
"Instead of having a discrete core-logic and a discrete graphics chip, we're issuing one chip that offers both," he said. "[The device] offers higher performance and lower power consumption because it has a DDR [interface] combined with a core-logic device in a single component."
Combining two devices in one chipset especially makes sense in the notebook market, according to Mike Feibus, an analyst at Mercury Research Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz. "The main question," Feibus said, "is why haven't suppliers begun to offer chipset solutions like this [on a large scale] before for notebook applications where low power consumption is especially crucial compared to desktops?"
The integrated graphics and core-logic portable market is forecast to grow from 2.7 million units in 2000 to 16 million in 2002, representing the fastest-growing PC segment, according to Mercury Research.
Trident originally partnered with Via Technologies Inc. to design an integrated graphics core-logic chipset, but the deal ended in a 1999 lawsuit filed by Trident. Via has subsequently developed similar chipsets in a joint venture with S3 Graphics Inc., a subsidiary of SONICBLue Inc.
Intel controls the majority share in the integrated graphics and chipset market, though Trident-ALi, Via, and AMD-Nvidia are intensifying efforts to gain share, the company said.
Samples of the CyberAladdinT will be available in the third quarter. Pricing was not disclosed.