ROSH HA’AYIN, Israel Startup company Lucid Information Technology Ltd. has said it aims to provide a graphics acceleration system-chip that can support up to 4 graphics processing units (GPUs) simultaneously. Lucid (Netanya, Israel), which employs 20 workers, intends to market its chip in mid-2007, according to the company’s co-founder and president, Offir Remez.
“In two months from now we will present an FPGA that will demonstrate support for up to three GPUs, while significantly improving performance”, said Moshe Stein, CEO of Lucid. “At the beginning of 2007 we’ll take our component to mass production.”
The solution is mainly targeted at the gaming computer industry. Stein estimates that PCs consume at least 60 million GPUs annually, while new games demand more computation than a single GPU can provide.
Lucid’s solution acts like a hub connecting the main processor to the multiple graphics processors, serving as a traffic cop. One part of it is a chip situated between the two units, and the other part is a software driver, that now supports Windows. The chip helps divide the graphics processing work among several GPUs, while the driver helps makes the application indifferent to the graphic processing solution in use.
At present Lucid’s FPGA demonstration, based on Tensilica’s Diamond platform, shows in outline the capabilities planned for the future chip. Lucid has used Tensilica's integrated CPU to support multiple and different GPUs.
“Lucid has raised $4.5 million about a year ago”, Gary Gannot, a partner at venture capital firm Genesis Partners, and a board member of Lucid, told EE Times. The company started its activity in August 2003, with funding $500,000 from Maayan Ventures (see Aug. 4, 2005, story).