Matrox has released its latest graphics chip, the G550. Central to the chip are two independent TMDS transmitters, which allows the card to output to two flat panel displays using digital connections. Matrox claims this is the first chip to allow digital connection to two LCD monitors at once.
The G550 can also support two analogue monitors, as well as including a TV encoder. Both digital and analogue configurations can use Matrox’s DualHead display technology to provide either replicating displays or one large desktop. It can also work with the company’s eDualHead software to allow ‘open book’ dual-page representations of Web pages using both displays.
The chip supports displays as 2,048-x-1,536 with 32-bit colour using the primary output channel and 1,600-x-1,200 with 32-bit colour on the secondary. It supports OpenGL and DirectX fully, as well as DVD playback through DVDMax. It also supports single pass trilinear and anisotropic filtering and Environment Mapped Bump Mapping (EMBM).
The G550 also includes the new HeadCasting engine, which is designed to accelerate the rendering of human facial animations that have been delivered over the Internet. However, this only works with a limited number of software package, which currently only consists of the facial animation 3D communication software that ships with the chip.