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AMD to star in DreamWorks' films

Chipmaker inks three-year agreement to supply DreamWorks Animation with processors.

Advanced Micro Devices will continue to play the role of behind-the-scenes hero when it comes to computer-generated films.

AMD on Monday announced a three-year partnership with DreamWorks Animation SKG, making the chipmaker the preferred processor provider for the DreamWorks SKG animation studio.

The agreement extends an existing relationship under which DreamWorks Animation has used numerous AMD-powered computers in creating films such as "Shark Tale." AMD Opteron chips are also being used for DreamWorks Animation's forthcoming movie "Madagascar," AMD said in a statement.

The huge increases in computing power over the past few years have generally made for more realistic animated movies, and at the same time shortened the amount of time it takes to render or complete the computer animation of each scene. AMD claims the strides in performance delivered by its Opteron chip have also allowed for specific breakthroughs such as creating new types of scenes.

One such scene in "Madagascar," whose story focuses on zoo animals that escape to see the world, includes 900 fury creatures. The type of scene is new in that, in the past, the number of creatures that could be included in a scene was limited by the demands of animating their fur, AMD said in its statement.

AMD chips have also recently been used in the making of the movies "," due May 19, and "Sin City," which has already been released.

As part of its new role, AMD will work with Hewlett-Packard to furnish DreamWorks Animation with the servers, workstations, desktops and notebooks it needs, the chipmaker said in a statement.

AMD will also gain the ability to use characters from DreamWorks Animation's animated motion pictures and to jointly promote upcoming animated films and DVD releases with the company.

DreamWorks SKG, parent company to DreamWorks Animation, was established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Its movie "Madagascar" hits theaters on May 27.