log in | register | forums
Site Search
Article archives

Geminus press release

For release not before 10am Saturday 23rd September 2004

Geminus project.
Purley, Surrey. England.

The team behind Aemulor, Aemulor Pro and Cino are pleased to announce
their latest project : Geminus - a multiple-screen driver for the IYONIX
pc. It allows several PCI graphics cards to be installed (upto the
maximum number of free PCI slots-3 in current models) and your desktop
can be split across several screens in various configurations.


- provides screen modes which span multiple graphics cards, allowing the
   desktop to be used across two or more screens

- supports up to 8 screens (Note: only 3 PCI slots are available for
   graphics cards in current IYONIX pcs.)

- screens can be arranged in any configuration (left to right
   horizontally, right to left horizontally, vertically..)

- each screen image can be rotated 90 degrees clockwise or
   anti-clockwise, allowing rotatable LCD panels to be used in portrait
   mode; great for DTP!

- An API allows applications to create their own display surfaces (the
   desktop is just one display surface) and thus claim screens for their
   own, exclusive use, either drawing to them directly or via the OS VDU

For example, Cino can take over the second screen for DVD playback,
whilst the desktop is displayed in the first screen

- makes full use of the hardware acceleration already available in RISC
   OS 5 on all screens, plus a hardware DMA channel to improve scrolling
   and copying performance between screens

- graphical Configuration plug-in allows you to define your own large
   screen modes, specifying the screen positions and, optionally,
   for each mode.

Future Developments
Geminus doesnt just end there. We have a host of exciting features
planned for the product, which will be made available in different
"flavours" depending on which features you require.

- R/B-swapping in software, allowing the use of other graphics cards
   which have not or cannot have their Red and Blue signals crossed-over
   (as per Castle's supplied NVidia cards), eg. digital DVI outputs.

- low-colour modes (code to be migrated from Aemulor Pro into the
   Geminus module, allowing each physical screen to be used in any
   display depth, whatever its actual capabilities).

- Geminus is ideally placed to further accelerate desktop operations
   such as sprite plotting and window redrawing.

Some early prototype code has already proved that the plotting of
texture backgrounds in particular can be greatly speeded up, leading to
a noticably slicker desktop.


The widths of the individual screens within a multi-screen mode are
restricted slightly, as shown below:

16 million colours width must be a multiple of 256 pixels
32 thousand colours width must be a multiple of 512 pixels
256 colours width must be a multiple of 1024 pixels

So all standard modes are available in 16 million colours (eg. 1024 x
768, 1280 x 1024, 1536 x 1152, 2048 x 1536)

A couple of example desktop modes available with 2 CRT monitors
side-by-side :
2560 x 1024 x 16 million colours
4096 x 1536 x 16 million colours!!

The first public showing of Geminus will be at the Guildford RISC OS
show today, where we will also be selling second PCI graphics cards
suitable for installing into the IYONIX pc, and a range of LCD monitors
at fantastic prices.

We anticipate Geminus will be available for purchase 3-4 weeks after the
show as much of the code is already complete. Pricing for the
multi-screen version of Geminus will be 25UKP+vat

Modified (R/B swapped) PCI graphics cards are available at 50UKP+vat

Upon release, we will be offering various bundles of Geminus, PCI cards
and LCD monitors at discounted prices.