Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Cyrix and Integrated Device Technology are close to agreeing on a common instruction set for their 3D graphics chips, an AMD spokesman said last week.
The vendors have been discussing a shared specification for the graphics extensions and an announcement is due any day now, AMD spokesman Scott Allen said. "I'm surprised it hasn't happened already."
Such an agreement could drive software support for the companies' chips, reduce their research and development costs, and even help them get a leg-up on Intel, whose own 3D extensions are not due to find their way into Intel processors until mid-1999, analysts said.
A shared 3D instruction set would ensure that graphics applications designed for one chip will not run poorly or crash on another chip, said Kelly Henry, senior analyst for IDC's semiconductor group.
That would make software developers more willing to write software for the three companies' chips, which is important to driving their sale.