R.I.P. 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000


— 7:44 PM on November 13, 2000

TR reader at large Ryu Connor sends in this link from 3dfx announcing that it has licensed its 4-way SLI technology to Quantum3D, makers of the infamous X-24 (two Voodoo 2's running in SLI on one board, remember?):

"Licensing our breakthrough 4-way SLI technology to Quantum3D is the best way to expend our engineering resources in a way that offers the best return," said Byran Longmire, vice president of the graphics business unit. "While we are sympathetic to the disappointment this may cause to a small number of our loyal gaming consumers, we are looking forward to seeing this incredible technology marketed to the visual simulation industry where visual quality is the most important attribute."
EuroGamer has a quick post-mortem and analysis of 3dfx's cancellation of the Voodoo 5 6000:
But what does this mean for 3dfx? Their top of the range card is now the Voodoo 5 5500, which can't even match the pace of NVIDIA's GeForce 2 and ATI's Radeon in many games, let alone the forthcoming GeForce 2 Ultra and a possible dual-chip Radeon solution, which could be shipping before the end of the year. The Voodoo 5 6000 would have gone head-to-head with the $500 GeForce 2 Ultra, but now 3dfx appear to be abandoning the top end of the market to their competitors, leaving them trailing until their next generation (code-named "Rampage") becomes available some time next year. Of course, by then NVIDIA will have yet another generation of graphics card out, and Rampage will have to give a sizeable performance boost over the VSA-100 to compete.
I can't say that I'm surprised. However, the fact that 3dfx won't bring to market a graphics card powered by four VSA-100 chips does not mean that Quantum3D won't. NVIDIA's GeForce 2 Ultra will rule the consumer high end for now, but a challenger looms on the horizon in the hot-bodied form of 3Dlabs' Emma (linked as part of Shortbread). Wow, 30 million transistors. She certainly looks well-endowed but it will be tough to make it in a man's world.

Speaking of NVIDIA, the sedulous Ryu Connor sent in a press release announcing that NVIDIA and Sensaura have signed a licensing agreement. Is NVIDIA now taking aim at Creative Labs or is this another piece to the MS Xbox puzzle?

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