S3 to demonstrate dual-GPU Chrome

S3, minnows of the GPU world, have announced a new dual-GPU graphics card. The Chrome 5400E X2, like its name suggests, is a dual-GPU version of the Chrome 5400E, designed for the embedded market. Unlike Nvidia or ATI, however, the primary purpose of two GPUs isn’t increasing performance – rather increasing the number of display outputs. And this is the 5400E X2′s USP.

The Chrome 5400E X2 will power up to 8 (yes, 8!) full HD monitors through 4 video streams. The closest competitor in this regard would be the upcoming ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition, but that will likely end up costing several times more (offering several times the performance).

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S3, minnows of the GPU world, have announced a new dual-GPU graphics
card. The Chrome 5400E X2, like its name suggests, is a dual-GPU version
of the Chrome 5400E, designed for the embedded market. Unlike Nvidia or
ATI, however, the primary purpose of two GPUs isn’t increasing
performance – rather increasing the number of display outputs. And this
is the 5400E X2′s USP.

The Chrome 5400E X2 will power up to 8 (yes, 8!) full HD monitors
through 4 video streams. The closest competitor in this regard would be
the upcoming ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition, but that will likely
end up costing several times more (offering several times the
performance).

The 5400E X2 will be demonstrated at the Digital Signage Expo 2010, and indeed, it could bring about a revolution in digital signage. Eight full HD displays driven by one graphics card has been unheard of.

But the 5400E X2 is an interesting product not just to the embedded and signage market. It could make a potent HTPC card, and a serious alternative to ATI’s Eyefinity. The S3 graphics cards are competent in their audio/video features offering H.264, MPEG-4 and VC-1 hardware acceleration with a built in 7.1 audio core. It supports a large variety of outputs – DisplayPort, LVDS, Dual-link DVI and HDMI with HDCP (which also outputs 7.1 HD audio). It is also DX10.1, OGL 3.1 and OpenCL compatible. Low cost and power consumption are bound to be aspects of the product – especially compared to ATI’s Eyefinity competitor with “only” 6 outputs.

There is no doubt that the S3 Chrome 5400E X2 will continue to be a poor performer at gaming applications. But that is not its purpose. There will be a niche market for which the 5400E X2 could be a fabulous product.

The card is expected to be sampled in Q2 2010 to ODM customers.

Reference: Xbitlabs

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