LucidLogix brings dynamic graphics switching to Sandy Bridge

It’s all done in software

REMEMBER HOW EVERYONE applauded Nvidia’s Optimus graphics switching technology? Well, it seems like there’s a new sheriff in town, as LucidLogix has just announced its brand new dynamic graphics switching solution called Virtu, which is all done in software and which will work with any discrete GPU, not just Nvidia’s.

Being able to dynamically switch between integrated and discrete graphics is a great feature in notebooks, but it’s not such a bad idea even for desktops. The downside is that Virtu is limited to Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform, at least for the time being although the press release doesn’t say specifically as to why. It’s of course understood that you need to have an integrated graphics solution of some sort for this to work well and although the press release doesn’t mention it either, we presume Windows 7 is required for it to work as well.

What LucidLogix have come up with is a solution that allows the discrete GPU to be put into idle mode and have the integrated GPU take over for everyday tasks, but when the extra power of the discrete GPU is required, it’s brought into action without any user intervention. As we’re still under NDA with Intel with regards to some of the finer points about Sandy Bridge, we can’t go into details about some of the features, but luckily for us, LucidLogix provided a quote from its president and founder Offir Remez that we’ll use instead.

“What we have really accomplished here is a seamless visual experience where it is not necessary to choose between the amazingly rich media features of Intel Sandy Bridge platform, like HD playback and powerful video transcoding, and the high-end 3D graphics functionality and performance of a discrete GPU,” The only downside so far for LucidLogix Virtu technology is actually no fault of theirs, as it’s really an Intel related issue and that is that you’re forced to use an H67 board, something many consumers aren’t going to be too excited about.

The reason for this is because the display has to be connected to one of the display interfaces on the motherboard, a feature lacking in the P67 chipset. However, the H67 chipset lacks some other features such as overclocking that you get with the P67, but then again, for your average consumer, this is going to be far less of an issue and the same goes for notebooks. LucidLogix will be demoing Virtu in a private suite at CES next week and will have a beta version of Virtu ready sometime in January. The company has already been demoing Virtu to several ODM and OEM system manufacturers and have had very positive feedback. Although it seems like Virtu is currently only intended for desktops, we can’t see it taking LucidLogix too long to come up with a solution for notebooks as well.S|A

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