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S3, Faroudja and NASA Drive Development of Industry's First Video Benchmark


Santa Clara, Calif. -- April 05, 1999 -- With the delivery of a working prototype, S3 Incorporated (NASDAQ: SIII), Faroudja, Inc., (NASDAQ: FDJA) and NASA Ames Research Center jointly announced today that they've completed the first stage of work on the PC industry's first full-motion video benchmark. Scheduled for a formal rollout at this week's WinHEC Conference in Los Angeles, this benchmark will establish video performance as a key differentiator in overall system capabilities and move the industry closer to consumer-quality video playback on the PC.

"For the volume mainstream market, full-motion video on the PC is stagnating with little focus on innovation and lots of focus on cost cutting," said Dr. Andrew Wolfe, Chief Technology Officer for S3 Incorporated. "Just as with 3D graphics, there needs to be an industry accepted video benchmark from a third party such as Futuremark, that allows end-users to make decisions based on hard facts."

"Today, people use feature sets as a way of comparing one video system to another," said Dr. Nikhil Balram, Vice President of Advanced Technology for Faroudja, Inc. "Unfortunately, feature sets do not always equate to increased performance or better image quality. Our comprehensive testing methodology evaluates performance, features and quality, generating a meaningful score that allows end-users to compare one system to another."

Industry-First Benchmark Implementation

In conjunction with this announcement, Futuremark Corporation also today committed to delivering a completed benchmark based on the group's work. The final benchmark will be developed in conjunction with Futuremark's BETA program, which is open to all manufacturers in the PC industry. Developers of the widely accepted 3DMarkTM 99 benchmark, Futuremark expects to release the full version of this benchmark in the second half of this year.

"Working closely with S3, Faroudja and NASA, we're well underway with this project," said Nathan Harley, Vice President, Futuremark Corporation. "In fact, given the practicality and completeness of the group's work, we've radically accelerated our development cycle and will demo a first build of the benchmark at this week's WinHEC Conference."

"As opposed to the numerous efforts that have missed the mark in the past, this effort is grounded in vision science, using repeatable and practical methodology to address the challenges of video benchmarking," added Dr. James Larimer, Principal Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center.

WinHEC Technical Presentation

At WinHEC, Dr. Andy Wolfe, Chief Technology Officer for S3 Incorporated, Dr. Nikhil Balram, Vice President of Advanced Technology for Faroudja, Inc., and Dr. James Larimer, Principal Scientist for NASA Ames Research Center, will present the technical details of the group's work for the first time. Part of a larger session entitled "Advancing the Platform with High-Quality Digital Video" scheduled for Friday, April 9th from 3:00-6:00pm, this presentation is a "must-attend" event for anyone interested in PC video.

About Faroudja, Inc.

Faroudja, Inc (NASDAQ: FDJA) is a world leader in high performance video processing technologies for markets requiring superior image quality solutions. The company provides innovative products for the HDTV broadcast, home theater, digital television, PC/TV convergence and digital display markets. Faroudja's technologies are protected by more than 60 patents. Faroudja has received numerous awards, including an Emmy award for advanced encoding techniques and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy presented in June, 1998 to its founder, Yves Faroudja.

About Futuremark Corporation

Founded in 1997, with offices in Toronto, Canada and Helsinki, Finland, Futuremark Corporation is a benchmark, diagnostic and tool provider. Creators of 3DMarkTM 99 MAX -- an advanced 3D benchmark used by over 70 technology magazines worldwide -- Futuremark delivers tools and utilities that empower PC users, enabling them to protect their technology investments.

About S3 Incorporated

One of the largest suppliers of graphics and video accelerators in the world, S3 Incorporated has established itself as a market leader in technology excellence, core business strengths, strategic partnerships and worldwide reach. Building on these strengths, S3 is committed to delivering targeted products for the Personal Computer, Computing Integration and Consumer Appliance Markets.


S3 Contact
Public Relations
(408) 588-8000
email: pr@s3.com


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