An Innovative HyperMemory Technology from ATI Reduces PC Costs

September 18, 2004

HyperMemory uses PCI Express to enable maximum graphics processing performance while lowering overall PC cost

ATI Technologies announced HyperMemory, an innovative technology that reduces PC system costs by allowing its visual processors to use system memory for graphics processing. HyperMemory uses the high-speed bi-directional data transfer capabilities of PCI Express to store and access graphics data in system memory, leading to less of a dependence on graphics memory and ultimately a lower overall system cost.

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About Graphics Card:
A graphics card or video card is a component of a computer which is designed to convert a logical representation of an image stored in memory to a signal that can be used as input for a display medium. As was in the past, many graphics cards are standalone devices, attached to a motherboard via the ISA, PCI, VESA, or AGP buses, with recently-introduced PCI-Express expected to be prominent in the future.
Increasingly, however, the graphics card is no longer a "card" in the strictest sense, but is an integrated section of the motherboard dedicated to the same purpose. These more powerful graphics cards, usually geared toward displaying 3D graphics for games, are still card-based. Their processing engines are sometimes called GPUs (graphics processing units). The longterm goal of graphics cards manufacturers (and game developers) appears to be realtime photorealistic rendering.

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Under previous interconnect standards, the data transfer between the visual processor and the CPU was not fast enough for real-time graphics applications, so graphics cards have shipped with up to 256 MB of dedicated graphics memory to store textures and rendering data required by the graphics processor. HyperMemory gives ATI and its board partners the option to deliver cards with less on-board memory and instead use system memory to handle the graphics storage requirements. The result is a lower overall PC cost for the same great graphics performance.

HyperMemory uses intelligent memory allocation algorithms to optimize the use of available local memory and ensure critical components are placed in fast local memory when required. Optimal assignment of data to local or system storage is determined dynamically to ensure the best user experience. HyperMemory also increases the performance of system bus data transfers, making accessing system memory faster than ever before.

Graphics cards featuring HyperMemory technology will be announced later this year.

Founded in 1985, ATI Technologies Inc. is a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions for desktop personal computers, mobile computing, DTV, cell phones, handhelds, consoles and workstation products. The pioneer, innovator and market leader in the graphics industry, ATI’s strength is built upon the strength of its people, its product and technology excellence, customer focus, and its ability to identify and capitalize on key inflection points where new technologies and markets converge. ATI intends to become the world’s leading supplier of rich visual display and media technologies, components and subsystems to the PC and consumer electronic markets.

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