February 07, 1996 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Develops 3-D Graphics Controller Chip

(Seoul) - Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) has created the technology to make three-dimensional graphics imagery. The breakthrough is expected to significantly boost the development of multimedia-related technology in Korea.

The 3-D graphics controller chip R&D project began in 1994 and cost about US$ 1.4 million to complete. The research project has netted key technology for Samsung Electronics to produce 3-D still pictures, moving pictures and multimedia images. To date this key component has only been developed by a handful of specialized companies around the world.

The 3-D graphics controller is used in the video accelerator of various multimedia products such as graphics cards for desktop PCs, 3-D game products and set top boxes. Its functions include Gouraud Shading (a way of representing an object`s color) and Texture Mapping (a way of creating the 3-D sensation).

Importantly, the 3-D graphics controller chip has recently been adopted for 64-bit video memory interface with Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) interface, which has been expanding with the growth in high-performancecomputers. The device can support video memories with capacities of up to eight megabytes.

Nintendo, Sega, Sony and other game products makers have already come out with software for three-dimensional games. They are also expected to unveil3-D game software for high-performance computers this year. Thesedevelopments are expected to result in a rapid expansion of this market.

Samsung Electronics` new device not only has outstanding 3-D graphics functions, it has high added value. Similar chips on the market are nowselling for US$ 40 apiece, and the devices are forecast to become a leading item in the non-memory chip market. Annual world demand of 3-D graphics controller chips by 1998 is forecast to be around US$ 5 billion.

Estimated market size of 3-D graphics controller chips:
1996 83 million chips
1997 96 million chips 15.7% increase
1998 124 million chips 29.2% increase

In the first half of this year, Samsung will begin mass producing the new 3-D graphics controller chip for initial supply to Korean makers of PCs, graphics cards and game products. By the end of 1998, Samsung aims to beranked among the top three manufacturers of 3-D graphics controllers with 25% world market share.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is the world`s leading producer of semiconductor memory products and a US$ 21 billion affiliate of Samsung Group, a US$ 80 billion Korea-based conglomerate (`95 estimates). Among the industry`s fastest growing high-quality, multinational IC manufacturers, Samsung manufactures more than 2,500 semiconductor product types across a range of categories. Its total annual semiconductor sales exceeded US$ 8 billion last year.

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