Summarized from Number Nine web sites

Number Nine launches "Ticket To Ride™ IV," its fourth and most powerful 128-bit 3D/2D/Video graphics chip

Number Nine delivers advanced, single chip 3D/2D/MPEG coprocessor




LEXINGTON, Mass., May 26, 1998 -- Number Nine Visual Technology Cop. (NASDAQ: NINE) today announced and demonstrated its fourth generation, 128-bit fully integrated 3D, 2D and MPEG graphics coprocessor -- "Ticket To Ride ™ IV." Ticket to Ride IV delivers almost a three-fold performance increase over the prior generation Ticket To Ride processor, which powered the Revolution ™ 3D, the most award-winning graphics accelerator in Number Nine’s 16-year history.


Ticket To Ride IV continues the company's commitment to the development of powerful graphics technology for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT and Macintosh personal computers -- designed for the most demanding corporate, 3D and multimedia graphics users -- including support for HDTV resolutions up to 1920x1080. Newly implemented features include; an Intelligent Resource Processor (IRP), a Programmable Latency Memory Controller (PLMC), and an integrated 250MHz RAM DAC.


"Ticket To Ride IV is one of the most powerful, fully integrated, graphics controllers on the market," said Andy Najda, chief executive officer and founder of Number Nine Visual Technology. "This processor allows Number Nine and OEM vendors to design world-class, high-performance 3D/Video and 2D graphics accelerator boards at very competitive price points. Graphics boards designed with Ticket To Ride IV should please the most demanding corporate, 3D and multimedia graphics users in any market or industry."

Dr. Jon Peddie, President of the market research firm Jon Peddie Associates of Tiburon, California said, "The market for 3D controllers is in an explosive stage and we’re forecasting over 70 million units will be shipped this year. Number Nine was the first to bring out a 128-bit controller with the Imagine™ 128 in 1994. This is their fourth generation 128-bit part and their experience shows. The new Programmable Latency Memory Controller, and 10-level of detail mip-mapping with tri-linear filtering is world-class technology."

Using a graphics accelerator powered by the Ticket To Ride IV, business professionals will be able to view massive spreadsheets on high performance monitors. Engineers will be able to manipulate complex 3D models in real time. Desktop artists will gain the horsepower needed to smoothly scroll large, true-color images as they work, without waiting for screens to refresh.

Outside of business hours, Ticket To Ride IV sports the video processing power needed to watch high-detail, full-motion MPEG-II video. It also delivers high-end 3D gaming capabilities supporting higher resolutions and frame rates than most existing 3D gaming cards.

Utilizing Number Nine’s proprietary 128-bit WideBus™ technology, graphics data is channeled by the newly implemented Intelligent Resource Processor (IRP) through multiple 128-bit wide data highways into two separate, yet integrated and tightly coupled 128-bit graphics engines – one for 2D, one for 3D/Video. Utilizing a 128-bit wide, 250 MHz. integrated DAC (digital to analog converter), Ticket To Ride IV enables lower cost, yet powerful graphics solutions to be built that support today’s highest performance monitors at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 – at very high refresh rates.


2 Gigabytes per second onboard processing and full AGP 2X support

Ticket To Ride IV is ideal for today’s fastest Pentium ® II CPUs. Ticket To Ride IV frees the host CPU of graphics processing tasks, allowing it to concentrate on recalculating spreadsheets and spell-checking documents. This approach speeds system performance. With full AGP 2X support, graphic instructions are transferred from the host, via the AGP bus, at speeds up to 533 megabytes a second. Once onboard, large amounts of 3D texture data can be stored locally in up to 32 MB of onboard graphics memory, efficiently processed at speeds in excess of two gigabytes a second.


New - Programmable latency memory controller moves data up to 25 percent faster

Ticket To Ride IV is one of the only graphic chips on the market today to support a Programmable Latency Memory Controller (PLMC). Using the PLMC, graphics accelerators can be designed to transfer data up to 25 percent faster using standard SGRAM graphics memory. This approach differs from graphics processors designed with fixed memory latency (the initial time required to set up the memory to receive data). The PLMC reduces the time required to setup the memory for each and every data transfer.


New - Powerful 128-bit integrated DAC supports 1920x1200

Ticket To Ride IV supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 (HDTV) at 65K colors at refresh rates up to 83 Hz. or 16.8 million colors (32-bits / pixel) at resolutions to 1600 x 1200 at up to 92 Hz.- using as little as 8MB of low-cost SGRAM. The graphics chip processes eight 16-bit pixels per instruction cycle, then streams the digital data along multiple 128-bit wide data highways to a pair of color lookup tables. These color lookup tables process data in parallel, converting it into analog data with the integrated Palette DAC (digital to analog converter), running at a blazing 250 MHz. True hardware zooming is also supported, allowing users to instantly zoom in and out within any application -- on demand. With the chip’s 128-bit processors, wide data paths, advanced memory controller and high-speed integrated DAC, low cost, single ported graphics memory can be used to support today’s most demanding monitors.


Ready for 4-D and GDI-2K

Ticket To Ride IV, like its predecessor Ticket to Ride, supports Microsoft’s proposed 4-D/GDI-2K graphics interface standard, previewed at the recent Microsoft-sponsored Windows Hardware Developers Conference (WinHec). These standards, when implemented, improve the user interface for 2D and 3D applications, making it easier for users to work with and navigate around the computer. For example, 3D images may be manipulated as whole objects in non-rectangular or borderless windows. Pop-up and pull-down menus fade in and out, while application windows become translucent, allowing users to peer through foreground application windows on demand. Simply, 2D applications benefit from 3D hardware features that were once reserved for high-end engineering applications and advanced 3D games.


World’s first 256-bit memory interface and flexible memory configurations

Most popular graphics processors can support a maximum of only 4 or 8MB of graphics memory. This is not adequate for today’s 3D applications, which require higher resolutions than those available with game-oriented accelerators. 3D applications must also store 3D textures in onboard memory for fast, efficient 3D processing. Additionally, most competing processors offer a maximum 64-bit memory to DAC interface, which limits available supported resolutions and color depths. Number Nine’s Ticket To Ride IV processor is the only mass-market graphics chip to support up to 32MB of high-bandwidth, low-latency SGRAM, with an exclusive 128-bit memory interface to the DAC. Ticket to Ride IV also supports a 256-bit memory interface when using dual ported, interleaved WRAM graphics memory and a 128-bit wide, high-speed external Palette DAC for specialized applications.


Advanced Ticket to Ride IV features:

  • 2.0 GB/second onboard frame buffer bandwidth.
    • Pipelined memory read and writes.
  • Fully combined and integrated 128-bit 3D/Video and 2D Engines.
    • Proprietary 128-bit WideBus Architecture.
  • Programmable Latency Memory Controller allows low cost memory to run up to 25 percent faster.
    • SGRAM and WRAM (interlaced and non-interlaced) graphics memory interfaces.
    • Support for 8 and 16-Mbit memory allows for low-cost memory flexibility.
    • Memory configurations up to 32MB.
  • Integrated 250 MHz. Palette DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).
    • 128-bit CRT Controller.
    • Multiple Color Look-up Tables.
  • Advanced 3D Pipeline:
    • A built-in 3D rendering engine, tightly coupled to an IEEE 754 floating point 3D rendering setup engine that runs at 430 MFLOPS (million floating point operations per second).
    • 3D pixels processed at up to 32-bit color for precision 3D rendering.
    • Precision 32- and 16-bit Z-buffering support processes up to 16.7 million Z-steps. This High Precision Z-buffering significantly improves 3D imagine quality. It reduces texture seams and unsightly artifacts that are present in 3D games-oriented chips that offer less precision.
    • 10 Levels-of-Detail Per-Pixel Mip Mapping.
    • Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing
    • An 8KB on-chip texture cache.
    • Palletized textures at 8, 4, 2 and 1 bpt.
    • Atmospheric effects for specular lighting, interpolated fogging and alpha blending.
    • Support for perspective corrected texture mapping with bi-linear and tri-linear filtering.
    • Complete DirectX 5.0 and 6.0 support.
    • Optimized Direct3D and OpenGL ICD (Installable Client Driver) support.
  • Full AGP 2X data transfer rates allow for data throughput up to 533 MB per second to system memory.
    • 4x increase over PCI transfers.
  • Full-screen, 30 frames per second, MPEG-II playback.
  • 4,096 x 4,096 fully addressable memory.




The Ticket To Ride IV processor will begin sampling in the second quarter of 1998 with volume production in the third quarter of 1998.

About Number Nine

Number Nine Visual Technology Corporation,, is a leading supplier of high-performance visual technology solutions, including video/graphics accelerator subsystems, chips and productivity-enhancing software. Number Nine is one of the first companies to offer its users drivers certified by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). The company is a pioneer in PC graphics, delivering the first 128-bit graphics accelerator, the first 256-color and 16.8 million-color cards, and three consecutive lines of 128-bit graphics chips and boards. Number Nine is a publicly-held company (NASDAQ: NINE) headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, with research and development, sales and/or marketing offices in Munich, Germany and Redmond, Washington.



Editorial Contacts:

Phil Parker, Number Nine PR, 781-869-7105,

Steve Leon, Technopolis® Communications Inc., 310-670-5606,


European Contact:

Michael Dietz, Number Nine, Germany : +49 89 61 4491-0,


Investor Relations Contact:

William Ralph, Assistant Treasurer, Number Nine, 781-869-7210,


Number Nine, Ticket To Ride, Imagine, WideBus and Revolution are trademarks or registered trademarks of Number Nine Visual Technology Corporation. Microsoft and DirectX are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. All other trademarks are properties of their respective companies. All rights reserved.


This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described herein, depending on such factors as are described under "Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results of Operations" in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for its first quarter, 1998, ended March 28, 1998, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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