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Just a few days before Christmas, Gigabyte surprised the graphics card enthusiast community with its top secret project, the 3D1. The 3D1 graphics card is a dual-core SLI solution, using two NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT chips working in tandem. Simply put, Gigabyte has taken two chips working in SLI mode and put them on a single card.
Indeed, the project was so secret not even NVIDIA, the company that produces the graphics processors used in this design and that "invented" the current SLI implementation, was in the know and was just as surprised as everybody else. This development is all the more intriguing because Gigabyte has filed a patent for the 3D1's technology. So far, the details of the filing have not become public, but suffice to say that if NVIDIA forgot to patent a similar SLI architecture themselves, that would practically give Gigabyte the exclusive rights to such a design. One possible scenario would be that Gigabyte licenses the design to other companies, collecting royalties in return. NVIDIA has stated that it is pleased with the concept of the 3D1 and plans to extend full support to Gigabyte.