0.18 manufacturing process
1.8V graphics core
143MHz 128-bit 3D engine
Single pixel pipeline
Two textures per pixel
128-bit SDR/64-bit DDR support
143MHz SDR memory/125MHz DDR memory
Up to 64MB frame buffer
Extended DuoView+ Features
Low Power Consumption
Integrated TV-Out Encoder
External TMDS Support
Accelerated DVD playback, motion compensation
Full OpenGL ICD
S3's original Savage MX/IX mobile chips were built on a 0.22 micron manufacturing process. The move to 0.18 allowed S3 to add an additional texturing unit and increase the clock speed from 110MHz to 143MHz, all while reducing power consumption.
From the hardcore gamer's point of view, the SuperSavage looks fairly benign. The Savage4 core the SuperSavage is based on wasn't exactly a barnburner when it first came out. Of course, the laptop market is very different from the desktop market. Not having access to an unlimited supply of power has a profound effect on system design.
With laptop OEM manufacturers refusing to even consider graphics solutions that take up more than 10% of system power, low power consumption is the top issue in mobile 3D graphics. In terms of mobile graphics design, S3 ranks power consumption first with features and performance a distant second and third.
SuperSavage on a test board
The SuperSavage incorporates "clock dependent gating arrays" which allow the laptop to shut off different parts of the graphics chip if they aren't being used. For example, if you're just doing a little word processing, you won't need the DVD motion compensation portion of the chip wasting your precious battery life.
Heat and absolute size are also concerns. Newer thin and light notebooks require a cool-running graphics chip that doesn't need a bulky fan and heatsink. One S3 engineer demonstrated how cool the SuperSavage runs for us by holding his finger on the chip while it was running Quake 3.
Like the original mobile Savage, the SuperSavage will be available in MX and IX versions. The MX version is just the graphics chip. The IX MCM (Multi-chip module) version has the memory integrated on the same package (but not the same die) as the graphics core (kind of like the Pentium Pro).
Graphics core with memory on the same package
The SuperSavage can support a frame buffer up to 64MB in size, but don't expect to see anything beyond 16MB or 32MB in current laptops. According to S3, the power consumption difference 16MB and 32MB of memory is 0.1-0.2W. The SuperSavage IX supports up to 16MB MCM right now, with 32MB MCM expected by the end of the year.
The SuperSavage also features multi-monitor support similar to Matrox's DualHead or NVIDIA's TwinView. In addition to the laptop display, the SuperSavage can support an additional CRT, LCD, or TV for dual display. You can even have up to three displays by hooking up both a CRT and an LCD monitor.