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NVIDIA Unleashes Quadro FX 3000 Series

NVIDIA isn't the only PC graphics vendor to offer high-end workstation versions of its 3D accelerator cards, but the Santa Clara-based graphics chip maker Tuesday took the wraps off a new series with a very broad reach.

The company's new Quadro FX 3000 and 3000G go way beyond everyday computer-aided design (CAD) or digital content creation, let alone civilian applications and games.

Designed for graphics professionals in markets like medical and satellite imaging, oil and gas exploration, and automobile manufacturing, the 3000 series cards boast 256MB of 256-bit-interfaced DDR2 graphics memory, powering up to 3,840 by 2,400 resolution.

NVIDIA graphic processors (GPU) are best known for their roll in Microsoft's Xbox game consoles as well as personal computers, laptops and workstations.

With 27.2GB/sec of memory bandwidth, the Quadro FX 3000 drives ultra-large texture performance and high-resolution, 16X full-scene antialiasing. Single-system powerwall support lets users digitally specify overlap and blending for two images projected onto a large surface, even from inexpensive projectors, as a PC-based alternative to seven-figure, reality-center installations like Silicon Graphics' Onyx InfiniteReality series.

The Quadro FX 3000G adds framelock and genlock support, synchronizing video refresh and buffer swaps for multiple systems in a cluster for life-sized visualizations and walk-throughs, and offering synchronization with standard signal formats for video post-production, broadcast, and compositing solutions. Like other Quadro FX products, the new boards boast three parallel vertex engines with on-chip vertex cache, eight fully programmable pixel pipelines, and full 128-bit IEEE floating-point precision with 12-bit subpixel precision.

Vendors including IBM < QUOTE NYSE:IBM> for its IntelliStation MPro workstation, Hewlett-Packard's visualization stations and xw6000 and xw8000 workstations, and RackSaver have announced plans to offer Quadro FX 3000 workstations, with 3000G solutions scheduled for special-order availability this fall.

NVIDIA's Quadro distributors including PNY (US and Europe), LeadTek (Asia/Pacific), and Elsa (Japan), value-added resellers, and system builders such as BOXX Technologies, @Xi Computer, Colfax International, and Polywell Computers worldwide are also selling the Quadro FX 3000 series.

Editor's note: siliconvalley.internet.com Michael Singer contributed to this report.