3dfx Technology Summit - HotHardware

3dfx Technology Summit

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Setting Standards In 3D Graphics

THE Technology Summit Report! - July 30, 1999

 
 
 

Roadmaps and Miles Stones - The history and future of 3dfx

Once upon a time, this little spin off / start-up out of Silicon Graphics, invented a great new 3D only graphics chip called Voodoo.

-Yesterday
Without getting into too much fairy tale talk, lets just say that Voodoo1's revolutionary RGBA Rendering and Frame Buffer along with its Real-Time Perspective Correct Texture Mapping, amazed PC Gaming enthusiasts from all walks of life. Never before had we seen the PC able to render scenes the likes of which only consoles could produce. All these great graphics with the functionality, complexity and control of a PC, finally true PC Gaming had arrived. Thank you 3dfx!

-Voodoo2 and Voodoo3
Since then, frame rates got a lot faster and image quality has improved about ten fold with further advancements like Multitexturing, Trilinear Mip-Mapping, Detail and Projected Texturing, and Triangle Setup. Not to mention, with the introduction of Voodoo3, we got better image quality with 60fps performance figures at 1024X768. Not too shabby at all...

 Here is one for the new millennium... Enter The "T-Buffer"

Ahh yes, as we mentioned before, this whole technology thing is about innovation. This is 3dfx's latest innovation and it is a BIG one. The "T-Buffer" was named after its inventor, Gary Tarolli who, by the way, to my understanding is from Massachusetts, land of Hot Hardware HQ! In any event, you'll be thanking Gary and the gang from 3dfx for yet another amazing innovation with the advent of the "T-Buffer". The "T-Buffer" is 3dfx's proprietary image enhancement and digital effects engine. Here is the 3dfx's block diagram for this next incarnation....

click image


 


With the "T-Buffer you'll get....

-Full-Scene Real Time Spatial Anti-Aliasing

The "T-Buffer" will bring you several things. First and foremost you will get Full-Scene Real Time Spatial Anti-Aliasing. This means NO MORE JAGGIES ANYWHERE and without a frame rate penalty. Also, this new capability will work across any current game platform you own and is 100% compatible with Glide, D3D and OpenGL APIs. Your game will be instantly transformed with this feature. Here is a little snippet to show you the effect...

click image

Images Copyright 1998, Mango Grits, Inc.

-Much higher clock rates, of course...

Now, drop the Wafer Fab technology, used to make this next generation chip, down to .18 microns and we're talking higher clock frequencies for 85fps at 1280X1024 resolution.

-Cinematic Effects (Spatial, Temporal, and Focal)

Finally, and this is the kicker, we are going to be treated for the first time on any PC, to effects that will bring the experience that much closer to Hollywood Digitally Animation like scenes, movement and interaction between objects and the space they occupy. Here's the "punch list" of new goodies!

- Motion Blur

- Depth of Field (Focal) Blur

-Soft Shadows

-Soft Reflections


 
So, these new effects and enhancements sound really cool, right? But what will they look like?
     

Go forth and seek more knowledge here! ------------>

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