ATI has announced SmartShader, its next-generation graphics architecture.

The company said: "The solution has been designed to narrow the gap in visual quality between TV screens and computer screens. It affords games developers the most advanced visual-effects available on Macs or PCs."

SmartShader supports DirectX Pixel and Vertex Shader specifications. The full feature-set is also available in OpenGL, using extensions developed by ATI.

Pixel perfect ATI's games-friendly tool applies major advances in Pixel Shader technology - a series of small programs that run for every pixel rendered on a display device.

Pixel Shader supports six textures on a single rendering-pass, using less memory bandwidth than previous versions of the technology. This means more memory and more processor power is available for faster frame rates, or more detailed 3D animations.

The solution also improves support for Vertex Shaders, small programs that modify the shape and position of 3D objects - including animated characters.

Speedy games Toshi Okumura, ATI's senior product manager of desktop marketing, said: "By combining the speed and optimizations of a dedicated graphics-processor with the flexibility and programmability of a CPU, SmartShader technology provides a virtually limitless range of visual effects at interactive frame rates.

"SmartShader technology will reduce the time it takes to bring innovative new graphics to the end-user; developers won't have to wait for new graphics hardware or new versions of their preferred graphics API (application programming interface)."

ATI announced Truform, another 3D technology for OpenGL, in May this year. Okumura claimed Truform would deliver the "smoothest 3D images ever seen".