Diamond, STB, Number Nine to back Intel graphics chip

Users keen to test out Intel's claims for its 740 graphics processor announced today will get plenty of opportunities in the next two months as seven card makers tap the chip for products.

Leading the way will be graphics hot-shots Diamond Multimedia, Number Nine and STB, alongside chip co-developer Real3D, Asustech, Leadtek and the UK's Modular Technology. Cards will be available with 2Mb, 4Mb or 8Mb SDRAM or SGRAM.

Intel will also allow the chip to be integrated into motherboards but declined to say whether that policy will include its own boards.

"Our strategy is to deliver compelling benefits in consumer and business," said Graham Palmer, Intel European marketing manager for chipsets and graphics. "The attractions will be mainstream pricing and Intel's quality and manufacturing capabilities."

Palmer said that the chip would boost performance for any vendor writing to Microsoft's DirectX API and its Direct3D subset.

The chips will be manufactured on Intel's 0.35-micron process facilities.