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Post: #1

ATI™s new SMARTSHADER„¢ technology allows developers of 3D
games and other applications to unleash their creativity with a fully
programmable graphics pipeline for both geometry processing and
rendering. Vertex shaders enable custom transform and lighting effects,
giving complete control over the shape and position of 3D characters,
objects, and environments. Pixel shaders enable a huge number of
different per-pixel effects, allowing accurate simulations of the
natural properties of materials such as hair, cloth, metal, glass, and
water that were previously difficult to achieve in real-time
applications. Important visual cues such as reflections, highlights,
and shadows from multiple light sources can also be rendered with
unprecedented speed and accuracy. Both pixel and vertex shaders are
accessible using the DirectX® 8.1 API from Microsoft as well as
OpenGL® extensions from ATI.

SMARTSHADER„¢ technology takes a major step beyond existing
hardware shader implementations with support for up to six textures per
rendering pass, nearly double the number of instructions, and a new and
improved shading language that provides greater flexibility and ease of
use. These advancements greatly increase the number of graphical
effects that can be created, improve performance by conserving memory
bandwidth, and allow more games and other applications to take
advantage of the technology. With SMARTSHADER„¢ technology, the
pace of graphical innovation will accelerate, and the gap in visual
quality between what has been seen in movies and what appears on the
computer screen will become narrower than ever before.
Post: #2



Developers of 3D graphics applications have always had difficulty creating realistic computer generated
characters, objects and environments that can be interacted with in real time. The limitation has been a lack of
available processing power combined with the restricted flexibility afforded by existing graphics hardware. There
has always been a trade-off between performing operations on the CPU, which allows more flexibility due to its
general and programmable nature, and the graphics processor, which allows better performance due to its hardwired
and heavily optimized architecture. While the rapidly increasing speed of graphics processors has enabled
a significant amount of progress, and while they have been steadily taking over many of the tasks formerly
handled by the CPU, there are many interesting and useful graphical techniques that have remained out of reach
because they require a combination of speed and flexibility that neither existing CPUs or graphics processors
could adequately provide.
What is needed is a technology that combines the speed and optimizations of a dedicated graphics processor
with the flexibility and programmability of a CPU, allowing a virtually infinite range of visual effects at interactive
frame rates. The first attempts at introducing this kind of technology were successful in increasing the number
of effects available to developers, but still suffered from a number of limitations in terms of both versatility
and performance. SMARTSHADER™ technology, developed by ATI, removes these limitations to free
developers’ imaginations.
Post: #3
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