Based in Fremont, California, S3 Graphics is a top provider of graphics visualization technologies for desktop and notebook PC sectors. One of the major suppliers to the OEM and retail markets, S3’s products offer cutting edge efficiency to home, corporate and multimedia platforms to provide the end-user with enhanced visual features. While not as dominant as it once was, the company remains stable in the market with its S3 brand of graphics accelerators. This series rivals competitors, such as ATI Radeon and GeForce product lines.
S3 Graphics was founded and incorporated in 1989 as S3 Incorporated, going public on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in 1993. Though successful as an independent startup company, it struggled with the transition to the integrated 3D card segment. Remodeling itself as a consumer electronics company, S3 sold off its major graphics division in a merger with VIA Technologies. The new company was very profitable and even made a successful investment in UMC, a semiconductor foundry based in Taiwan. In 2000, S3 became SONICBlue, changing the name and NASDAQ stock symbol as well. SONIC set its focus on the consumer electronics market, enjoying tremendous success with brands such as ReplayTV, GoVideo and the Rio line of portable multimedia players. It also produced graphics accelerators for the home-based PC market under brand names such as Deltachrome, Gammachrome and Chrome.
Although SONICBlue filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and folded shortly thereafter, the company’s graphics divisions were previously sold to VIA Technologies as S3 Graphics. The technology behind this world famous brand has helped to set many of the trends seen on the market, including the world’s first single chip GUI (Graphical User Interface) accelerator in 1989. Today, S3 Graphics cards are among an impressive lineup of integrated processors and embedded technologies that deliver world-class performance to the home and business markets.
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