The crew over at Accelenation.com has compiled a comprehensive list of major GPU announcements from the last half-decade or so. Lots of milestones in there, along with some interesting commentary and analysis. I can probably map the "highs" and "lows" of my tech. writing career based on this article. :) Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and check out the "Pre-Voodoo" and Late '90s stuff.
"Let us return to the beginning of 2001 and the release of the first programmable GPU - the GeForce 3 from NVIDIA. At this time ATI was lagging far behind with the very first Radeon 256 filly (first entered back in April 2000). This ATI entrant had been introduced in direct competition to the first GeForce showing from NVIDIA (introduced over six months earlier). In the mean time NVIDIA had released its all-conquering GeForce 2 stud, and despite having an extensive feature list, the poor little Radeon 256 never really got into the race. So when NVIDIA released "Shade" the GeForce 3 black stallion at the start of 2001, ATI was nowhere to be seen."