A One Chip Solution To Graphics Gridlock?

While most PCs can display 256 colors with razor-sharp clarity, software programs such as IBM's OS/2 operating system and forthcoming multimedia applications could really put the strain on graphics chips. Chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc. thinks it has an answer for the pending graphics slowdown.

The Fremont (Calif.) company recently announced a line of display chips that process video data in larger 24-bit chunks rather than the standard 16-bit size. The chips also combine the three or four specialized chips normally found in video boards into one that requires less space on a computer's main circuit board--an important consideration for portable computers. And although specialized 32-bit graphic setups exist, the new chips are inexpensive--about $17 each in quantities of 1,000. Media Vision Inc., a PC peripherals maker also in Fremont, will feature the chip in its $349 Thunder and Lightning multimedia circuit board for IBM PCs.

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