Press release

12 March 2001

STMicroelectronics and Hercules Announce Commercial Partnership and Technical Cooperation for Leading-Edge PC Graphics Solutions

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Crolles, France, and Pheonix, Arizona, March 12, 2001 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) and Hercules (Euronext Paris, Guillemot – 6672) today announced that the two companies are working together to bring leading-edge PC graphics solutions to the market. The relationship brings together two companies with strong and complementary track records in the graphics market: Hercules has long been one of the most respected names in PC Graphics cards and ST is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of complex silicon chips for PC peripherals. Cementing the relationship, both companies announced innovative new products: ST’s KYRO II PC Graphics controller and Hercules’ 3D PROPHET 4500 PC Graphics card, the world’s first top-performance graphics board that is within every gamer’s reach.

KYRO II is ST’s second generation of PC Graphics controllers based on Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR™ architecture. This unique Tile Based Rendering technology eliminates much of the redundant processing overheads and memory bottlenecks produced by less efficient graphics algorithms. By its more intelligent use of computing and memory resources, KYRO II sets a new performance standard in the graphics processor industry.

3D PROPHET 4500 features the best of KYRO II technology, combining a very efficient design, 64MB of fast on-board RAM and the perfect drivers to offer the ultimate experience to the whole gaming community, in their current and future games. 3D PROPHET 4500 demonstrates clear performance leadership when compared on popular games and industry benchmarks with other products in its class.

The key in computer graphics is today to be able to cope with the increasing scene complexity and bandwidth and large texture volumes without sacrificing the perfect quality of high resolution images,””; said Claude Guillemot, President of Hercules Technologies. “”;ST, with its technical expertise, came out in an incredibly short time with a breakthrough architecture for the KYRO II graphic controller that will delight the most ambitious game developers. Which is why we have chosen ST’s KYRO II as the foundation of our new product family. This expertise leads the way to more future partnerships in new multimedia technologies.

We are delighted with Hercules’ decision to use the KYRO II in their critically acclaimed 3D PROPHET product line, said Tim Chambers, VP and General Manager of ST Graphics Product Division. “”;As the leading independent graphics board supplier in the US retail market, Hercules has the brand recognition and market presence to bring the very significant benefits of KYRO II to the broadest numbers of consumers.

Following the excellent results of the cooperation, the two companies plan to extend their technical accord to other Consumer PC applications, exploiting ST’s broad portfolio of consumer technologies and Hercules’ knowledge of consumer market requirements.

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