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Matrox Launches The G550

HeadCasting - 3D From A Comms Angle

The HeadCasting engine is the only major 3D feature added since the G450. With the HeadCasting engine comes an additional T&L engine that is specifically optimized for Matrix Palette Skinning .

The singular benefit of this feature is Matrox' emphasis on acceleration of animated photo-realistic faces with lip synching. As such, by drawing attention to this feature, Matrox leaves itself very open to criticism on 3D, whereas it is quite apparent that the G550 is not going to be a competitor to 3D accelerators from Nvidia, ATI, and STMicroelectronics.

Headcasting - Matrox bundles a series of applications that are optimized to use a fixed set of vertex functions on the G550 to deliver 3D facial animations with lip synching over low bandwidth connections

So, Matrox touts the addition of a T&L unit and the presence of an Extended Vertex Shader with 256 constant registers on the G550, but it is solely at the service of enabling the software Matrox will bundle with G550 boards in future:

  • Digimask - You take a front view and side view digital picture of your own head, or scanned from photographs, and Digimask creates a 3D head and e-mails it back to you.
  • Headfone - An instant messaging application from LIPSinc that replaces text with talking digital heads. Your talking head is synchronized to your speech.
  • Matrox Virtual Presenter for PowerPoint - This is a proprietary Matrox application that allows you to author a PowerPoint presentation for distribution that includes a slide-synchronized audio track with your talking head. Matrox also includes a software DVD player, but only these three products are optimized for HeadCast.