3dfx loses $100.5 million

— 10:43 PM on August 29, 2000

3dfx finally released their financial results for the second quarter this afternoon, and it's not pretty. The Voodoo-meisters lost $100.5 million dollars. Two-thirds of the loss was the cost of buying up Gigapixel, but however you look at the numbers, they lost a load of money.

You can listen in to the conference call 3dfx held for investors by going here. I took the time to listen in, and there were a few points of interest:

  • They're very high on Gigapixel technology, especially its low transistor counts, and they continue to talk about making chips for handhelds and wireless devices.

  • One investor asked about the Voodoo successor, code-named Rampage, and 3dfx wouldn't commit to a time frame. They said it's "A little early to tell. Still in our plans . . . Still in the planning process." Translation: Prolly won't make it in time for Christmas.

  • 3dfx will address the retail market on a board level, while addressing the OEM market "on a chip level". As I understand it, that means third-party manufacturers will make cards for the OEM market based on 3dfx chips. Retail products, however, should remain 3dfx cards.

    Some other sites are reporting a wholesale return to the chips-only business for 3dfx, but if that was in the conference call, I missed it. Sounds to me like they're just making concessions for the needs of big PC makers.

We don't always get so geared up about the business end of things around here, but the 3dfx-related news over the past 36 hours has been remarkable. It's not at all clear whether the company will turn itself around in time to survive. If they don't, it will be yet another example of a truly pioneering tech company meeting an untimely fate because good engineers don't always make good businessmen.
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