S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) technology is an industry wide de-facto true 24bit 3D texture compression algorithm used in compressing textures in hardware-accelerated 3D computer graphics for both PC and game consoles. The S3TC technology allows complex textures to be compressed by a factor of four for opaque textures and eight for transparent textures, greatly improving the amount of texture imagery that can be stored and processed with onboard graphics memory, while maintaining crisp visual quality. S3TC technology reduces demand on system memory (smaller memory footprint) freeing up bandwidth to provide, lower power, better texture resolution, greater flexibility in MIP-map use, triple buffered rendering and improved sustained fill rate for a greater overall performance.
As the demand for higher resolution and more complex 3D graphics has grown over the years, S3TC technology continues to play an important role in delivering memory intensive images more precisely for the best viewing experience. S3TC technology has been adopted by leading hardware and software companies including Sony and Creative and is included as part of Microsoft®’s DirectX® and compatible with OpenGL standards. The latest VIA Media System Processors (MSP), including the VX900 and VX11, feature this core technology as part of their hardware video decoder to offer advanced filtering and cutting edge post-processing to perform ultra-smooth decoding of the most demanding video codecs.