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Hercules Debuts Terminator 64/3D - 11/1995

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Last Vegas, Nev., 11/13/95 -- Hercules Computer Technology, Inc. announced the Terminator 64/3D, the next generation of 3D multimedia accelerators. The Terminator 64/3D delivers leading edge 3D acceleration without compromising graphics or multimedia performance. The Terminator 64/3D features the S3 ViRGE integrated 3D video/graphics accelerator, 2MB of EDO DRAM and available hardware-based MPEG decompression on board. With Hercules' exclusive Power Drive Windows 95 drivers and a suggested list price of $299 or $399 with hardware MPEG, this 3D solution represents the industry's best

performance value in its class.

The Hercules Terminator 64/3D, model T2312, is expected to reach market in the first quarter of 1995 through Hercules' worldwide network of distributors and resellers. The Terminator 64/3D provides excellent GUI and multimedia acceleration in a single-slot solution. Hardware MPEG support on the Terminator 64/3D is achieved through a daughtercard connected to the accelerator via the board's digital multimedia port. The optional MPEG daughtercard, model TMPEG2000, will retail for $139.

3D For Users Not Wanting To Compromise DOS and GUI Performance

With its complete suite of 3D functionality including flat and Gouraud shading and high quality/high performance texture mapping with perspective correction, bilinear and trilinear texture filtering and MIP-mapping support plus depth cueing and fogging, alpha blending, and Z-buffering, the 3D performance is ideally suited to the coming generation of 3D games. With support for Direct3D, Reality Lab, and other 3D development environments, the Terminator 64/3D will accelerate a wide range of 3D Windows 95 applications and games, plus support Windows NT and OS/2 Warp. Additionally, this accelerator delivers great DOS and GUI performance so the user does not have to make the compromises associated with other solutions.

Hardware-based MPEG Ideal For Demanding Multimedia Needs

With hardware MPEG decompression, the Hercules Terminator 64/3D can deliver smooth, full-screen 30 frames-per-second playback of high resolution MPEG-1, CD-i and VideoCD titles. As more multimedia games and applications are released with video stored in MPEG format, numerous performance demands are placed on the PC's CPU. While video stored in MPEG format provides superior image and sound quality, decompressing MPEG files for playback can drain up to 90% of CPU power, resulting in audio synchronization problems or overall system sluggishness. The Terminator 64/3D frees the CPU to run other applications while delivering 30fps MPEG playback with superior audio synchronization.

Video Playback uses Microsoft DirectDraw and DirectVideo

Hercules has further improved video playback through its Power Playback(tm) for Video capability providing the user with true-color, full-screen video playback without performance or image degradation, eliminating jerky, "postage stamp" sized video images. Power Playback works in tandem with Microsoft's DirectDraw and DirectVideo software to give DirectDraw-compliant codecs, such as Intel's Indeo or SuperMac's Cinepak, access to the scaling, filtering, and color space conversion capabilities of the new S3 ViRGE chipset.

Multimedia Engine Dramatically Improves Video Performance

The Terminator 64/3D is the first product to use the new ViRGE chipset. The ViRGE combines advanced acceleration and specialized multimedia functions. It can accept native YUV video data, eliminating the color format conversion process that accounts for a large percentage of CPU time during video playback. Support for video overlays allows for fast video performance by multimedia applications that use the color key "blue screen" functions of Microsoft's DirectDraw API. For superior quality and full-screen playback, the ViRGE performs filtering and linear interpolation.

Onboard EDO DRAM Enhances Multimedia Performance

One key to the Terminator 64/3D's high refresh rates and crisp multimedia performance is the accelerator's memory bandwidth, or ability to move data in and out of the card's memory. For a multimedia accelerator to produce images rapidly, the onboard memory must maintain pace with the graphics commands passed from the personal computer. The higher the refresh rate and the faster the garphical elements are to be reproduced on screen, the faster the accelerator's memory must be addressed. Hercules' elegant and efficient hardware design has incorporated Extended Data Out (EDO) DRAM into the Terminator 64/3D to enable data to be retrieved from memory faster to improve overall true color performance.

Hercules' Power Drive(tm) Drivers Redesigned for Windows 95

Hercules' exclusive Power Drive Windows drivers, offered for Windows 3.1 for the past two years, have been completely redesigned for Windows 95. The new Power Drive drivers for Windows 95 feature accelerated support for every resolution and color depth offered by the hardware, as well as integrated refresh rate selection and complete DirectDraw, DirectVideo and Direct3D support. Hercules expects that this proprietary software will be key to differentiating the Terminator 64/3D from other similar products based on the same chipset.

New Touch 95(tm) and Hercules Entertainment Center(tm) Software

Hercules' new Touch 95 integrated suite of software tools builds on the industry-wide reputation of the company's original Hercules Touch utility package. Touch 95 seamlessly integrates into the Windows 95 environment to provide additional useful and enjoyable capabilities such as a "virtual desktop," on-screen monitor adjustment, and instant zoom. A revolutionary new multimedia control center, the Hercules Entertainment Center, makes multimedia easier to use and more fun. This customizable consumer electronics-style control center for multimedia provides useful tools for video and sound and a highly intuitive user interface never before seen in the multimedia accelerator marketplace.

See Also