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S3 Launches Energy-Efficient Graphics Chips

S3 Graphics announced on Wednesday its new Chrome 400 ULP Series of low-power graphics solutions for ultra mobile devices.

A new energy-efficient graphics processor by S3 Graphics is looking to bring discrete graphics solutions to ultra mobile devices. S3 Graphics is claiming the new graphics processor delivers the highest performance-per-watt ratio ever for a new breed of energy-efficient desktops and portable notebooks. With a maximum power envelope extending below 7-watts, the graphics solution is claimed to produce significantly less heat than competing offerings, making it possible for even subnotebooks to feature dedicated graphics.

The Chrome 400 ULP series comes in three different flavors; the Chrome 430 ULP, the Chrome 435 ULP and the Chrome 440 ULP. The Chrome 430 ULP seems to be the variant that was developed specifically for subnotebooks, featuring a TDP of less than 7-watts, HD video acceleration and DirectX 10.1 support. The heftier Chrome 435 ULP has been designed for thin and light notebooks with claims it out-competes its competition in both energy-efficiency and performance. Lastly, the Chrome 440 ULP has been designed for desktop replacements systems, promising HD 1080p playback, dual-stream Blu-ray support and DirectX 10.1 gaming performance.

The Chrome 400 ULP series of graphics processors have already begun shipping, with Fujitsu being a known OEM customer. While this news may mean there are some new spiffy Fujitsu Lifebooks in the works, it should be interesting to see if future netbooks will also adopt these new graphics processors. Netbooks have been designed for low-cost and lean function, not gaming-capable performance. One area netbooks could use a boost in though is battery life, making a more energy-efficient graphics processor a possible consideration.