3dfx: And all that could have been?
VN Roundup has an interesting article up that details 3dfx's demise, and more controversially, the technology behind the Rampage graphics chip that never made it to market.
One of the most-advertised features for Matrox’s new Parhelia offering is its 10-bit per RGBA component processing. Well, Rampage would have layed the smackdown on Matrox as well. Rampage was set to feature 13-bit per RGBA component, allowing it to have 52-bit internal color processing. It still made use of 32-bit output, but the quality, and precision of colors would have been of a much higher standard than anything offered by today’s commercial video card products.
3dfx’s beloved FSAA was planning a return as well. It would have still used RGMS (rotated grid multi sampling), but Rampage’s texturing abilities would have directly affected how anti-aliasing worked. The M-Buffer (similar to the Voodoo5’s T-Buffer), would have allowed for 4 sample AA per clock with no pixel rate loss, unlike the older T-Buffer, which took a 4x performance hit when AA is enabled.
Though the article has a little too much fanboy enthusiasm for my liking, it still gives a glipse at some once desperately anticipated graphics technology. Thanks to the [H]ard|OCP for the link.