NV20 to be programmable?

— 6:52 PM on November 24, 2000

Drivers are not the only things that 'leak' from NVIDIA. At this rate, they may have to call a plumber. The Register is reporting that NVIDIA's new GPU is said to be programmable.

But while everyone appears to be getting all hot and bothered by the numbers, one small detail proves rather interesting: the chip is programmable.

This is interesting because of recent developments with DirectX. Version 8.0 of Microsoft's games and multimedia API. Earlier this week, head of UK graphics chip developer 3DLabs, Nick Trevett, claimed DirectX 8.0 was going to render - pun not intended - all existing chip architectures obsolete.

Why? Because DirectX 8.0 gives games developers control over the rendering pipeline. Where once accelerator chip designers determined how their silicon would speed up geometry, texturing, shading and lighting, and software writers had to work with that, now the coders can decide how best to organise the pipeline for the needs of their software.

ZDNet UK (in English) is claiming that the NV20 will be up to seven times faster than the existing GeForce 2 Ultra. NV20 will also feature better anti-aliasing performance.
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