Intel to enter graphics chip arena next week

Intel will next week formally introduce the long-awaited i740, its first graphics chip designed to speed up 3-D performance in Pentium II systems. The i740 is expected to wreak havoc in the graphics chip industry, with Intel's large motherboard and OEM business giving the chip ready access to a sizable chunk of the market, industry sources say. Internally, Intel is said to be shooting for as much as a 30% share of the desktop PC graphics market.

Intel will next week formally introduce the long-awaited i740, its first graphics chip designed to speed up 3-D performance in Pentium II systems.

The i740 is expected to wreak havoc in the graphics chip industry, with Intel's large motherboard and OEM business giving the chip ready access to a sizable chunk of the market, industry sources say.

Internally, Intel is said to be shooting for as much as a 30% share of the desktop PC graphics market.

The i740 will be introduced at successive launch events across the globe, beginning with the US on Monday. In Taiwan, the chip will be launched a day later, officials said.

Designed for use in both business and consumer PCs powered by Pentium II processors and featuring accelerated graphics port (AGP) technology, the i740 is built around what Intel calls a hyper-pipelined 3-D architecture which is expected to provide improved graphics performance.

The chip giant co-developed the i740 with Real 3D Inc., a relationship which Intel cemented last month by taking a 20 percent stake in the Lockheed Martin Corp. subsidiary.

But Intel's graphics plans appear to extend far beyond the i740, with graphics considered to be the next major target for the world's largest microprocessor maker.

Last week, for example, Intel announced the completion of its takeover of graphics chip specialist Chips & Technologies Inc., which now has been integrated into Intel's Graphic Component Division.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.intel.com/.

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