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Intel, Lockheed plan 3D graphics chip

Intel and Lockheed Martin will make a high-performance 3D graphics chip.

Intel made its long-expected entrance into the graphics chip business today through an agreement with Lockheed Martin to develop and manufacture a high-performance 3D chip.

The Intel-Lockheed 3D graphics accelerator chip, currently in the "definition stage," will be based on Intel's recently announced Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) technology and is slated to appear in "P6 family" systems running Windows NT in 1997, Intel said.

"With five to ten times the performance of currently available graphics solutions, this development is going to redefine graphics," said Gary P.Mann, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Systems Group. This venture with Intel will leverage Lockheed Martin's previous investment in simulator and 3D graphics, Mann added.

Both Lockheed and Intel will have the rights to design and manufacture the chip. It is a "single-chip solution that will also include 2D and video capabilities and support Microsoft's Direct 3D API," Intel said today.

Down the road, the Intel-Lockheed alliance could spell trouble for graphics chip manufacturers such as S3 and ATI because Intel's usual modus operandi is to enter a market with an awesome technology and manufacturing punch, delivering the maximum blow to the competition. In addition, the company's position as the world's largest manufacturer of motherboards gives it other distinct advantages.

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