Toshiba SpursEngine powers upcoming card
With the next-generation Radeon and GeForce graphics cards slated to be released sometime next year, and with Intel's Larabee unlikely to launch until early 2010, a new video card is expected to hit the market in the upcoming days.
Built on a graphics processor that hasn't been developed by AMD, NVIDIA or VIA for that matter, the new graphics card will be offered by NVIDIA's board partner, Leadtek. Simply dubbed WinFast PxVC1100, it will be part of the company's WinFast family, and is based on Toshiba's SpursEngine graphics co-processor.
According to AkihabaraNews, the new card will begin selling in Japan starting next week, two days after the official introduction of Intel's next-generation desktop processor, the Core i7. Unfortunately, no details have been made public as to when the new graphics card will become available overseas. Still, in Japan, it is expected to hit the market with a price tag of ¥29,800 (£199, or US$307).
In terms of technical specifications, the upcoming graphics card from Leadtek incorporates a processor based on the same Cell BroadBand Engine microprocessor that is used in the PlayStation 3 gaming console. The SpursEngine was partly developed by Toshiba, and contains only four "Synergistic Processing Elements" cores, unlike the Cell processor that comes with eight of these SPE cores, in addition to a Power PC core. The chip itself has a hardware encoder and decoder for MPEG2 and MPEG4 AVC/H.264 video, enabling it to be used as a co-processor for handling calculation-intensive work, such as real-time high-definition graphics processing.
Additional features include the 128MB of XDR DRAM memory and the single-slot PCI Express form factor. Leadtek will equip the new graphics card with Windows XP and Vista drivers. It will be targeted at applications such as video editing and authoring, video upscaling, transcoding of video formats, and playback of high-definition video.