The B3D Bit

We wrote earlier this year in our CeBIT coverage that Mirage 4 was a Q3, possibly Q4 product.  First a recap on what Mirage 4 actually is.

As the company's D3D10 IGP, with JPR mentioning its extra video features such as VC-1 and H.264 acceleration for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video play, it underpins the core of SiS's core logic offerings for a range of processors from both AMD and Intel.

Our meeting with SiS at CeBIT hinted at a 10W TDP maximum target for a high usage model, which makes it suitable for positioning in everything from ultra-portable notebooks (in cut down form) to desktops, as the primary pusher of a system's pixels.

D3D10 performance is unlikely to be stellar given the transistor budget available (remember that certain Mirage 4 variants will also be the system memory controller), but provided it's compliant with a good driver, it could well be the shot in the arm that SiS needs at this point.

However to better analyse whether that can be the case, we need to pin down some dates.  With JPR pairing the release of Mirage 4 with Intel's Penryn desktop processor introduction, and the common wisdom putting that in early 2008 for the mainstream parts, SiS must have taped a revision out by now in order to meet a production ramp for sales.

SiS are apparently tracking Intel's roadmap plus one or two months for new logic introduction, giving the company room for a last minute revision to the silicon that they'll pair with Penryn.  JPR's Computex data is presumably a little more up-to-date than our CeBIT findings, but things don't seem to have moved too much since earlier this year.

We're therefore confident that the D3D10 IGP market will have four players after all, two of them offering D3D10 IGPs for both main microprocessor IHVs.  And if the 10W target is correct for full-rate Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disk playback -- likely the killer feature of this coming IGP generation -- then SiS should have something to lift them out of their current doldrums.

So we're definitely looking at a Q1 2008 introduction for Mirage 4 on the Intel side, and it's likely we'll see it at roughly the same time for AMD, although SiS maneuvering themselves into position as a strong logic partner for Intel, especially with VIA out of the way now, might push their AMD offering back a tad.

Providing SiS hit that release target, the question becomes one of software implementation to expose what their hardware is capable of.  We look forward to the testing!