Of course not everyone will have a G550 in Matrox's vision of future
e-commerce, but this shouldn't be too much of a stumbling block. The way
Headcasting is being positioned only the creator has to have the G550 card (for
real-time instances anyway). Users who are not on the Matrox G550 bandwagon can
expect to see a lower definition rendering of the virtual head derived from
software-based skinning. The application is driven by streaming audio so even
users on 56K modems should be able to interact with Matrox's talking heads.
So popular is this CRM technology expected to be that Matrox have coined it
Visual Online Commerce (VOC). The real test will be how the G550 stands up to
existing solutions from nVida and ATI, as for the moment Matrox appear to by
shying away from the gaming market entirely.
The G550 improves upon the G450 chipset by tackling 2D,
3D, DVD and Dualhead capabilities head on with integrated dual independent transmission minimized differential signaling transmitters (TDMS) that enable the chip to
drive two fully independent digital flat panels. Additionally, the
G550 integrates dual CRTC's, 360MHz Ultrasharp RAMDAC's and a TV encoder
for PAL, NTSC, SECAM support.
On the 3D side of things, the G550 is capable of
rendering two dual-textured pixels per clock using VCQ2 (Vibrant Colour Quality2) rendering architectures. The chip also supports single pass trilinear and
anisotropic filtering. Also supported are: alpha blending, fogging, specular highlighting,
environment mapped bump mapping (EMBM). The G550 video card will come
with DVI and analog outputs, 32MB DDR memory
and retail for $125USD.