3dfx lets it slip: Voodoo4 and Voodoo5

— 10:00 AM on November 15, 1999

Somebody pointed out to the 'shack that 3dfx's European home page already has a press release online about their next-gen 3D graphics cards. The big news we didn't really know about beforehand is the fact that 3dfx's new graphics architecture is supposedly capable of scaling up--way up--using as many as 32 chips in parallel via a scan-line interleave (SLI) config. Here's how they describe it:

3dfx Interactive® Inc. (NASDAQ: TDFX) today announced the first implementation of its new Voodoo Scalable Architecture technology. The initial advanced processor, the VSA-100™, is a highly scalable design that supports the integration of one to 32 chips per system, using proprietary programmable scan-line interleaving (SLI) techniques, to deliver ultimate fill rates and high visual reality through breakthrough digital cinematic effects. Additionally, the VSA-100 architecture substantially improves the overall 3D rendering quality by incorporating advanced full-scene anti-aliasing technology, available for the first time at real-time frame rates and consumer prices.
The Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 lines will be differentiated by the number of chips used. Voodoo4 boards will have only one chip, and "will deliver between 333 and 367 megatexels/megapixels per second fill rates and are expected to be priced at $179.99."

The Voodoo5 monsters, on the other hand, will "feature multi-chip implementations of the VSA-100 architecture including both dual-chip and quad-chip configurations." V5 boards will not be priced at 179 bucks; the multi-chip setup will be rather expensive. A two-chip version will be around $300, and a four chip behemoth will heat your computer room and "will deliver between 1.33 and 1.47 gigatexels/gigapixels per second fill rate" for the low, low price of about 600 smackers.

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