If you made it here you probably want to look at the updated numbers in updated preview. If what you wanted was more info on the card, by all means read on.
In the video card wars between NVIDIA and 3dfx we sometimes tend to overlook some of the other combatants in the 3D arena. Sure, we all know of ATI and Matrox but there are few other contenders that make a bit more than vaporware. Imagination Technologies, formerly VideoLogic, has produced a new chipset, the PowerVR Series3 a.k.a the KYRO. STMicroelectronics, a company whose strength lies in IC design and manufacture, will produce the card itself.
Update: ST Micro's Joe Kreiner just sent in a correction to our article.
KYRO is a chip, available from ST. We will not be making boards, instead selling KYRO to various board makers. Imagination Technologies developed the PowerVR Series 3 architecture used in KYRO. ST then took this architecture and developed it into KYRO. We will do all the sales and marketing for the device.
There you have it. Imagination Technologies developed the chip, but ST Micro is doing all the manufacturing and marketing. ST Micro isn't making any boards; they're selling chips just like NVIDIA.
The last we heard from Imagination they were called VideoLogic. At that time they were making the PowerVR Series2. The card was highly anticipated, but the production delays were far too great for the chip to be a real contender.
While the PowerVR Series 2 didn't have too much of an impact on PC gamers, it did have a significant one on the console gamer. Some have speculated that the delayed release of the Series2 cards was a direct result of the work with Sega to incorporate the chip into the Dreamcast console system. Whatever the delay, the Power VR Series 2 was the first chipset the company had released in two years. Hype can only build for so long before people start to doubt. Some even went as far as to say that the chip was a total farce, and that the whole reason for it even being hyped was to raise stock prices.
After the release of the PowerVR Series 2 late last year, Imagination was well behind the defacto six-month product cycle standard. Now with the impending release of the KYRO, Imagination seems to be on their way to being on par with the rest of the industry. It's good to know they have the ball rolling again. Another competitor can only mean good things for consumers like us.
ST Micro's goal with this new card is not the high-end market. No, they will leave the GeForce2 and Voodoo5 to battle it out at the top for all those kids that have $300 to kick around. The PowerVR will be content to fight for the value gamer. The MSRP of the card lands in the $200 range. Thankfully, retail cost will probably be lower, but keep in mind that the card still faces some pretty stiff competition from first generation GeForce cards.