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HTC To Buy S3 Graphics From VIA

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the patent-warfare dept.

Graphics 90

jones_supa writes "The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has bought the graphics department of VIA Technologies, S3 Graphics. This $300 million dollar deal brings HTC the ownership of new patents and graphics visualization technologies. 'In addition to its traditional markets in PCs and game consoles, S3 Graphics Texture Compression technology is increasingly being applied to smartphones and tablets, HTC said.'" It appears that HTC will be turning the tables on at least Microsoft and extracting royalties from them for a change.

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yay more cocaine for htc exec (0)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684426)

yay more cocaine for htc exec !

Re:yay more cocaine for htc exec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684988)

I just wanted to say that I am eating a Tijuana Mama Pickled Sausage and this fucker is hot! My asshole is gonna fucking be on fire when this bitch comes out. You heard it here first.

Re:yay more cocaine for htc exec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686270)

And the person in the bathroom stall next to you is going to hear it second!

Units (0)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684468)

"$300 million dollar deal" - How much is a dollar dollar anyway?

Re:Units (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684566)

It's kinda like a NuYen. Or a DoubleDollar. Or a Spacebuck.

And of course those are all meaningless because as Ron Paul says, we need to go back to the Gold-Pressed Latinum Standard to fight inflation!

Now get me my teabag-infused tritanium cap. I have a tea party rally to get to!

Re:Units (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685050)

you get a +1 Shadowrun reference!

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686066)

And -1 for no mention of the Buckazoid [wikia.com] .

Re:Units (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686168)

I also didn't mention Altairian Dollars (recently collapsed), Flainian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu either. What's your point?

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36687570)

That Space Quest is cooler.

Re:Units (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684624)

A dollar dollar is roughly equlivalent to 12 bitcoins. Personally, I like the way the French do it. Write the $ after the number, that way it's more consistent with the way we write all our other units. Why I'm typing, I usually end up having to go back to put the dollar sign in after because you say the "dollar" part after the numbers.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684750)

But then by that standard the American way of writing dates (m/d/y) makes more sense. 7/4/2011 -- July 4, 2011 -- as that's the order you say it.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684790)

"Happy July Four!" Really?

Re:Units (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684876)

Actually, the only way that makes sense for dates is 2011-07-04 = July 4, 2011. Numbers should go from biggest unit to smallest unit. You don't write time like 54:12:32 for 54 minutes and 32 seconds past noon.

Re:Units (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685568)

Agreed though if you need entropy out of a timestamp near the beginning of the string, reverse it first: ms.ss:mm:hh dd/MM/yyyy

-l

Re:Units (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685740)

Yet you still say "past noon" after minutes and seconds which doesn't make sense

Re:Units (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684904)

We also have a much more logical big-endian way to write dates: 31/1/2000, as opposed to that ridiculous random-endian from the US !

Re:Units (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36685002)

a more sane way to write dates is 2000/01/31.

Re:Units (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686330)

No, the sane way is 2000-01-31 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Units (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686872)

Bah! Real programmers use ordinal dates. Today is 2011188.

Re:Units (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36687626)

Double bah! REAL programmers know (at the time of this post) it's 1310072421.

Re:Units (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685126)

That's a little-endian date. The least significant number (the day) comes first and the most significant (the year) comes last. ISO dates are big endian. US dates are middle endian, as popularised by the PDP-11.

Re:Units (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36689180)

ooops, you're right.

I meant: that, too: the end is at the beginning. damn yankees.

Re:Units (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36689420)

That's a little-endian date. The least significant number (the day) comes first and the most significant (the year) comes last. ISO dates are big endian. US dates are middle endian, as popularised by the PDP-11.

Then it goes to 11 endian.

Re:Units (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686422)

Unfortunately when you make it a datetime, the European order is bad and American worse. For sanity and sorting yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss is the best way, of course with a 24 hour clock not am/pm. Unfortunately it works great for an ISO standard, not so much for talking. If I say "We'll meet on the 23rd" then implicitly that means the 23 of this month, we don't start on the macro or the microlevel but somewhere in the middle. After all we don't start all our mail addresses with:

Milky Way
The "Sun" system
3rd planet
[Country]
[State]
{City]
[Street]
[House]
[Section]
[Apartment]

Usually we start in the middle with road and go down "Whitford Lane 13C apt. 4" then back up again to city, state, country etc. just like we do for dates. It's rather practical since most mail you send is domestic, so if you didn't add it then it was implicit. That definitively works better placed after than before. If you have a full address then of course it doesn't really matter.

Re:Units (1)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36687252)

syntax error at ./#36686422 line 10, near "{"
Execution of ./#36686422 aborted due to compilation errors.

Re:Units (1)

ags1 (1883204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36687546)

Sun is a generic term for a star. I believe our star is called Sol. If I am not mistaken, the planets are named after the star and in order of distance from the star. IE earth would be Sol 3.

Re:Units (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36691872)

Sol is Latin for sun. Just like Earth is called The Earth, Sun is called The Sun. Very clever naming huh?

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36685738)

One sixty billionth of the amount you get for capturing Vash the Stampede...

Re:Units (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685784)

That's probably square dollars. Imagine a line with 300 million 1 dollar banknotes on one side, then on each banknote put another 300M-1 banknotes on top :)

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686860)

200 times less than the bounty on Vash the Stampede's head

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Trigun_characters#Vash_the_Stampede

Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684472)

S3 ViRGE the world's first graphics decelerator.

At least, it had its own version of MDK.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684550)

For 3D games the ViRGE sucked, but the ViRGE and the Trio with a VBE 3.0 driver made 2D games rock out.

(Granted the games had to support VBE3.0...)

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684748)

I had the Trio64 on VLB with a 486 DX4-120. I could actually play Wing Commander 3/4 (except for the ground missions) at a decent framerate.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685470)

Ugh, VLB [wikipedia.org] . That thing was a monster. I always felt I was going to destroy a board just trying to get it into the sockets.

-l

Something blocking smooth entry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686762)

>trying to get it into the sockets.

VIRGE-in detected.

Seriously, it was always a tight fit, and it was only more difficult the longer you didn't clean your case. My case it seems, attracted so-much dust that simply removing and inserting would give just enough friction that it would make the motherboard bend. I even salvaged curb-side desktops that had creases in the brea/mainboard where someone did just that: almost catastrophically break their motherboard in trying to insert a VLB expansion card.

The trick is to make certain there are plastic mounting studs supporting the mainboard from bending in, and cleaning the sockets with a vaccum cleaner while agitating the dusty dirt using a small paintbrush that could fit into the socket and twisted.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36688040)

That's what your mom said as well.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686564)

They also made great little basic desktop boards, with low power and low noise. I sold one of those a couple of months back, one of the old Trio S3s. It just goes to show that being a pack rat isn't always a bad thing when it comes to tech.

I had a customer whose little Win2K bookkeeping box blew the onboard and he needed it back up like yesterday. The only PCI graphics card I had at the time was an old S3 pull so I told him I'd be happy to let him have that for $15 ($5 for the part, $10 to put it in and give the machine a good fan cleaning) and then I could order him something better the next week. So the next week rolls around and I call him asking when he wants me to order a new card and he says "Why bother? This one is working great, the picture is fine, the machine is quiet. I'm happy."

So I can see why HTC might want to buy the old S3 tech. They do make great basic graphics chips that sip power and are quiet as church mice. As TFA says it probably has a lot to do with the patents but having a nice basic GPU couldn't hurt either.

I just think it is sad the OEM payoff and compiler rigging by Intel has just about destroyed Via. AMD got a nice payout, though I'd argue it was a drop in the bucket compared to how much Intel cost them by paying OEMs to take the sucktastic P4 over the AMD Athlon 64, but Via was pretty much erased from the map by that BS. It is sad because from what I've seen the Via CPUs would not only make killer little netbook chips but would probably rock for low power servers thanks to the built in crypto chips. But as normal money wins over new ideas or innovation.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684560)

Me too, I sold that card for $30... my ancient 12MB Voodoo Rush was faster.
"First graphics decelerator" was mentioned in 2000 here [google.com] .

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685226)

Not surprising that the Rush was faster - it also cost about 4 times as much new. The ViRGE is much maligned, but it's quite unfair. A few games (e.g. Escape Velocity) had ViRGE editions that looked a lot better than the software rendering version. Someone also wrote an OpenGL driver for the ViRGE. I got 3 frames per second in GLQuake from that, while the software OpenGL implementation only got 0.3fps on the same machine (non-GL quake was a lot faster, but also a lot less pretty). Sure, my VooDoo 2 was a lot faster - it got 40fps - but it cost over ten times as much as the ViRGE.

Calling the ViRGE a decelerator was unfair. It was faster than a pure software implementation, it just wasn't much faster, and that was reflected in its price.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685350)

The games LOOKED a lot better, but the framerates were still unplayable. I got an S3 Onboard promo CD with my ViRGE card, and it came with native demos of Escape Velocity and Actua Soccer.

Neither title was what I would call "playable." Escape Velocity cranked-out 15-20fps, and Actua Soccer was probably chugging at around 10fps. That might be faster than software, but it's not playable.

When I got my Rendition v2200 card, it was like night-and-day: games played smoothly at between 30/50fps in OpenGL/Direct3D with much better graphics fidelity (60fps in native RRedline games). Even the predecessor v1000 series managed 30fps in native games, so there's no excuse for how terrible ViRGE really was.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685876)

The games LOOKED a lot better, but the framerates were still unplayable.

That's not the VIRGE's fault, though, that was the developers. They did their test and dev on stupidly high-end machines on which the VIRGE did not decrease frame rates. It didn't increase 'em either, it just improved the appearance significantly. Unfortunately, on a low-end machine they wouldn't scale back and you ended up with unplayability. And of course, everyone and their mom involved with the hardware told you to buy one and that it would be great on your rinky-dink CPU.

I had a friend with some MW2 title (mercs?) for Virge and a really fast machine (I don't even remember what it was, it was a long time ago... sorry, I will take a nerd demerit) and the Virge stuff didn't slow it down at all, just made it prettier. A lot prettier.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686640)

Escape Velocity was perfectly playable on my ViRGE with all of the detail settings maxed out. Maybe it was a CPU problem for you, but with a Cyrix P166+ (cheap, overhyped, 133MHz Pentium clone) it was very smooth. I don't know what the exact frame rate was - I don't remember it being reported anywhere - but it was high enough that I never thought of it as low.

The v2200 was released two years after the ViRGE and cost twice as much. If it hadn't been significantly better, I'd have been very surprised.

Re:Oh...I remember the S3 ViRGE so well (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36687318)

Hey, I'm typing this on a PIII with an S3 ViRGE!

It's perfectly usable for everyday tasks. I never tried any gaming though ('tis a PIII with 384MB RAM.)

S3 Logo? (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684532)

Maybe a parrot pining for the fjords?

Re:S3 Logo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684704)

Fields?

In related news (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684670)

In a related story, S3 apparently still exists!

Re:In related news (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684740)

More important news here, VIA still exists.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686506)

more important news, via bought s3 !!!

Patents (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684672)

The S3 Texture compression algorithm is used in OpenGL and Direct X. So now anyone who implements either of those APIs will be paying HTC.

Re:Patents (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685520)

More importantly, anyone who implemented either of those two APIs to date already has a license agreement with S3, which would just carry over.

In case of Microsoft in particular, since S3TC is the format for textures in D3D and XNA, and has been for a long time now, I would be very surprised if there wasn't a perpetual, or at least long-term, license.

Re:Patents (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688092)

Not quite. There's an unlicensed s3tc implementation for Mesa not ordinarily distributed in binary by most distributions, and of course not paid for either. It will be interesting to see whether HTC bothers with a transferable and non-exclusive exemption. There are plenty of games that don't work properly under Linux without the s3tc extension.

Re:Patents (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688866)

My understanding is that this would be unused when any hardware-accelerated implementation (be it proprietary or open source) is used?

Anyway, S3 probably didn't bother because they couldn't expect to get anything there in the first place. But it's certain that all commercial players do pay - Microsoft probably does for D3D and tooling, NVidia does for its hardware and drivers (including Linux ones, I suppose) etc.

Re:Patents (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36692000)

No, the standard Mesa drivers (even when hardware acceleration is in place) simply do not support s3tc. The reason why S3 "didn't bother" with the other one is that it's mainly distributed as source code or through unofficial channels. Distros won't touch it due to the patent situation.

From the Phoronix forums, I see that HTC has a history of open source hostility (even refusing to release kernel source code), so I don't expect anything to change.

Re:Patents (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686336)

Yes - DX6 texture compression is S3, as is GL_ARB_texture_compression for OpenGL 1.3 (prior to that it was EXT and ARB, which are essentially optional). In fact, this has been one of the major impediments for creating open source OpenGL drivers, because it is core now (and therefore required).

I personally find it highly derivative on prior art, but I found the same thing about most GPU implementations of Navier-Stokes (fluid dynamics) equations and have yet to hear of any of those being overturned. I guess what is obvious to me isn't obvious to the USPTO (and other patent authorities).

bubye (1, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684712)

According to Wikipedia:

S3 Graphics, Ltd is an American company specializing in graphics chipsets.

There goes a successful purveyor of mobile GPU technology off to Taiwan... I wonder if this is what Andy Grove meant when he claimed [slashdot.org] that abandoning today's commodity manufacturing can lock you out of tomorrow's emerging industry.

I'll bet Samsung wouldn't mind owning Tegra.

Re:bubye (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684936)

Why don't you try to learn what the fuck you're talking about before you post. First off, S3 doesn't make mobile GPUs, and near as I can tell they never had. Recently, their only product has been northbridge chipsets for VIA motherboards and I think a couple of really low end discreet cards. Second, it's a serious stretch to call them successful in any sense of the word, if they hadn't been bought by VIA they would have gone out of business some time ago. Third, and more to the point of your retarded post, they already were Taiwanese based, as VIA is a Taiwanese company. So one Taiwanese company sold a shitty division to another Taiwanese company, hard to make a statement about US manufacturing based on that.

Re:bubye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36685166)

mod parent uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

Re:bubye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36688608)

Why don't you try to learn what the fuck you're talking about before you post.

How about you first? S3 did the first generation of graphic accelerators, and the first mobile GPUs for laptops. I should know I still have the award for it.

http://www.techpowerup.com/72163/S3-Graphics-Delivers-Ultra-Power-Efficient-Mobile-GPUs.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S3_ViRGE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S3_Trio

Re:bubye (1)

NovaX (37364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36691336)

S3 bought NumberNine, which was a pioneer in high-end 2D graphics. I bet S3 has a large enough patent portfolio to have some beneficial defensive patents.

Re:bubye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36685172)

S3 Graphics is an American company in the same sense that Nintendo America is an American company. Not really.

Re:bubye (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685296)

they're not so succesful. virge's anyone? they basically owned the low end graphics card market for a while and fucked it up, savage was supposed to bring them back with it's groundbreaking texture compression, which was basically to save money on texture memory(back when voodoo2's shipped with 8mb the texture compression was quite relevant). it gives htc some patents though - too bad actually the texture compression isn't that relevant anymore - not on desktop and not on mobile. and samsung would like to own tegra only because it would take out a competing design. and pulling royalties from microsoft? uh? from what? something they could use on xbox? I guess texture packing is relevant on the xbox thanks to it's ridiculously low memory. via probably is happy to get rid of s3 so they can buy some gpu's that are of relevant design in 2011.

Re:bubye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36685768)

Actually, as someone above commented, S3TC is widely used in both OpenGL and DirectX. Especially when dealing in the mobile field, memory, storage space, and bandwith are all at a rather tight premium, so if you plan on doing any 3D applications at all (i.e. gaming) you pretty much need to use it. Other than that, yeah, S3 is pretty irrelevant. Course, thats a pretty important thing, hence why HTC wants it.

Re:bubye (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36686408)

Yet, most companies who are using the technology based on those patents have by now most likely already licensed it. This texture compression, for example, has been in DirectX since version 6.0 which is nearly 13 years by now and OpenGL 1.3 which is 11 years old, so S3 has most likely already extracted all the royalties they are going to get from it from companies using that technology.

Re:bubye (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36687424)

something they could use on xbox? I guess texture packing is relevant on the xbox thanks to it's ridiculously low memory

The original xbox is deprecated, and the Xbox360 has an extremely low 512MB of shared (system+GPU) RAM. The PS3 at least has a whopping 256MB of RAM for the Cell, and 256MB GDDR RAM for the RSX. Yes, the Xbox360 really needs texture compression much more than the PS3.

Mobile 3D could make sure of texture compression, then again, with high end phones having 1GB of shared memory, it too isn't as important. Maybe just a couple of years ago when RAM was a bit more limited on mobile.

Anyhow, Via could very well use stuff like the PowerVR chipsets which are designed for mobile, but do have a surprising amount of graphics power behind it (Intel GMA500 is based on it, which is at least halfway decent...)

Re:bubye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36687558)

Bringing this comment into reality, EVERYONE uses texture compression in their games, regardless of platform. You can have a 1024x1024 texture for 4096k, or for 768k. Unless there's a substantial quality difference -- and there usually isn't -- I can't imagine why you'd want the larger option. Especially considering you get increased load time as a bonus. In addition, compressed textures will actually render slightly faster, since the card has to traverse less ram for the same results.

Just about all the modern texture compression formats ultimately evolved from S3TC, as well... so while S3 might not be traditionally successful in an nVidia sort of way, they may have some patents that make them very valuable.

VIA? LOL (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684800)

Smart move because VIA is known for such outstanding quality.

Re:VIA? LOL (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685200)

I would take a VIA chipset over this balls hot and drag ass slow nvidia thing that uses yet another fan in my pc

Re:VIA? LOL (1)

archen (447353) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685388)

At least nvidia stuff CAN be stable if you strap a leaf blower to it. VIA couldn't make something as simple as a door jam that work properly.

Re:VIA? LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686510)

I'd have to call bullshit on that. I have a file server that's going on it's 14th year of operation running a Via based board and processors. It was my desktop board when I was gaming with my Voodoo 5 and Pentium 3 back in the day. Now it keeps my information sorted.
I have never had any problem with it. Unlike the half dozen Intel based boards I've gone through in the last 3 years alone.

Re:VIA? LOL (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688430)

I'd have to call bullshit on that. I have a file server that's going on it's 14th year of operation running a Via based board and processors. It was my desktop board when I was gaming with my Voodoo 5 and Pentium 3 back in the day. Now it keeps my information sorted.

Of course you don't realise that half the drivers on that system are saying 'Oh crap, a VIA board, I'm going to disable all these features because they just don't work'.

I know when I was developing GPU drivers on Windows one of the first things the driver did was check for a VIA chipset and then drop the AGP bus down to PCI-33 because they had so many problems talking to our AGP cards and trying to make it work wasn't worth the time.

Re:VIA? LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36688862)

I prefer VIA USB controllers over other brands. AmA.

No you wouldn't, or it would be so. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688212)

nt

Re:No you wouldn't, or it would be so. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688288)

when I was shopping for a motherboard a couple years ago I had the choice of nvidia or ATI, neither are VIA

Re:VIA? LOL (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36689946)

Smart move because VIA is known for such outstanding quality.

But HTC is known for it's outstanding quality.

So HTC brings their QA and manufacturing processes to the technology they've just purchased from VIA...

That's how acquisitions are meant to work, the seller benefits from a cash injection, the buyer benefits from being able to make a new product and the customer benefits from better products.

Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36684848)

Still looking for working drivers on modern OSs for my S3 Savage2000

Re:Drivers (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685978)

I see [s3graphics.com] the problem :) but at least one quite decent OS project still supports [cateee.net] your baby...

Re:Drivers (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688238)

At least they have the legacy drivers posted. They earned their "Legacy OS Support" badge.

What's VIA going to do now? (1)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684850)

Is there some sort of back licensing of the graphics tech and patents from HTC to VIA? I thought the future is all about integration of CPU with GPU. VIA already had the graphics backend, not the greatest but it was there. Or are they slimming down to sell to someone like nvidia?

The VIA Nano CPU wasn't bad, it was sufficient for most workloads. The weakness of the VIA solutions have been the graphics drivers, they're ancient implementation. You can feel the late 90s in them from limited resolution support to constant crashes (at least on XP). I think I was trying to get a Nano ITX solution to run at 1280 x 720, but it just wouldn't do it. Had to run it at 1280 x 1024 or 1024 x 768. Tried using Powerstrip but still didn't get me the resolution I wanted.

Re:What's VIA going to do now? (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36689416)

Is there some sort of back licensing of the graphics tech and patents from HTC to VIA?

I think they are. There has to be as S3's graphics technology are in VIA's chipsets.

S3 Savage Handheld (2, Funny)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36684890)

So will HTC's smart phones get VESA3 support, terrible OpenGL, an annoying "InControl99" panel and the most unstable crashiest video drivers on the planet?

1995 called. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686672)

They want their joke back.

There are some graphics projects back in the '90's that relied on stable VESA implementations, and these projects
had graphics much more sophisticated and pretty than anything DirectDraw and OpenGL had in the early 2000's.

VESA is a standard of America, and it is foolish to export it to Taiwan. The Blackberry itself is practically a 80386 computer re-modeled into a phone, and if VESA was tagged by Motorolla then maybe they could work on an embedded computer phone that brought American computing back into perspective of a hand-held rather than the classic beige monolithic boxes. Every American would buy one if it was fabricated on America and it brought all their DOS and early Linux environment back into a simplified environment. Those were the days when someone can write a program and it would just run, but now after DEC Alpha disappeared then there is no all-American avenue. It' s all foreign.

Re:1995 called. (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688122)

Did you warn them?

Why is VIA not collecting royalties theirselves? (2)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685228)

As $subj? What is a business reason for collecting one time money, if they have a chicken still producing eggs?

Re:Why is VIA not collecting royalties theirselves (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685688)

the trick is that they managed to convince htc that the team(they gotta have some guys left still, but maybe ) and the patents are relevant in a big way - though then again 300 million for htc right now isn't that lot-. if they asked for big money from everyone on who's cards it was possible to do texture decompression on gpu side, then yeah, they'd get good money, but the gpu's have changed in design to be more flexible, so that you could just add that (decompression on the fly)code on sw you run on the card, so card and game developers could just pass the patent ball back and forth, who pays it, so even if they're getting some money it's pretty insignificant(if you have a recent stand alone bought card, the manual would probably have a list of who they're paying to, as list of licensees and such, you could look up if s3 is mentioned or not- of course, notebooks don't actually have as good manuals for internal parts). of course they might have other patents too and a really good research team, but it's not well known anywhere what their contributions lately would have been, so it's not significant.

Stupid editorial (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36685248)

It appears that HTC will be turning the tables on at least Microsoft and extracting royalties from them for a change.

Based on what? If S3 had something that they could be "extracting royalties" from they would have already been doing so. Also Microsoft could have already licensed those patents and HTC won't be doing anything at all. I know, that just doesn't fit an anti-Microsoft spin, though.

More like swapping trading cards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36686708)

The two companies are very closely linked anyway. No-one seems to have remembered that the husband of Cher Wang (co-founder of HTC) is Chen Wen-Chi, CEO of VIA. Cher Wang herself also sits on the board of VIA. Probably agreed the details over dinner.

S3 (1)

JDHannan (786636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36688010)

I thought it said $3 Graphics!

YOU ADS are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36688228)

all over the slider bars

Fees? (1)

ThurstonMoore (605470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36689270)

Since S3TC is part of DirectX would Microsoft have to pay fees?

I'm confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36698066)

S3, as far as I know, has never been at the cutting edge of computer graphics/video processing. I look at them as a sort of technological cousin of Intel's integrated graphics platform(s). Does this help HTC beyond getting some IP? Are there other mobile and/or integrated GPU companies that would have been a better fit? Anyone made an offer for Nvidia lately?

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