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Microsoft Licenses Breakthrough 3D Graphics Technology From NVIDIA

NVIDIA's Volume Texture Compression Formats for Microsoft's(R) DirectX(R) enables Rich Graphics for Internet and Games

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 23, 2000-- In a move that will help bring stunning 3D graphics to internet users, NVIDIA(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA - news) and Microsoft® Corp. today announced the adoption of NVIDIA's technology for Volume Texture Compression Format (VTC) for Microsoft DirectX APIs. Today's 3D internet sites are plagued with inadequate image quality due to bandwidth constraints of transmitting high resolution textures over standard communications systems. Even for high-performance PCs, the limited amount of texture storage forces game developers to use lower resolution textures, resulting in imagery that lacks detail. Scheduled for release in 2000, NVIDIA's VTC format enables a superior level of image quality that allows web and content developers to produce 3D objects that depict their natural characteristics.

``NVIDIA has clearly demonstrated they are the technology leader for the 3D industry,'' said Tony Barkans, program manager for DirectDraw at Microsoft. ``By incorporating NVIDIA's technology into DirectX applications, developers are empowered with the tools to develop and deploy more complex and visually compelling 3D applications.''

Limited texture storage has historically been a problem for game application developers, forcing compromises in image quality and performance. The texture storage problem is exacerbated by volume textures, which are truly 3D data, unlike traditional 2D textures. Volume textures are so much larger than 2D textures, that the texture compression format becomes extremely important. NVIDIA's volume texture compression format organizes 3D volume texture data to take advantage of the 3D nature of the data, which increases the effective texture bandwidth by an enormous factor. NVIDIA has developed a proprietary method to reorder the 3-Dimensional data within a volumetric image cube to account for the linear accessing required for the optimal use of the memory system of a typical computer system.

``By incorporating NVIDIA's volume texture compression technology into DirectX, developers will be able to unleash a new level of realism,'' said David Kirk, chief scientist at NVIDIA. ``3D textures are enormous in size, therefore a high quality volume texture compression format is needed in order to make 3D texture data manageable and usable for high-performance rendering. NVIDIA's 3D volume texture compression technology enables developers to incorporate cinematic realism in interactive 3D applications.''

DirectX is a group of API technologies designed by Microsoft to make Windows® operating system-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3-D animation and surround sound. By bringing a common set of multimedia APIs to developers, consumer's benefit from seamless compatibility across devices including devices such as joysticks and sound cards with applications such as games. DirectX helps ensure that similar features provided by a number of different hardware companies are presented consistently to the application developer.


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