3Dfx Interactive 3D chipset announcement

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Frederick Y Mah

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Nov 26, 1995, 3:00:00 AM11/26/95
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Date: 95-11-06
Company: 3Dfx Interactive
Product: 3D graphics accelerator for 3D entertainment applications

Title: 3DFX INTERACTIVE INTRODUCES VODOO GRAPHICS

Summary:
3Dfx Interactive, Inc., a company focused solely on developing technology
for interactive 3D electronic

entertainment, today announced Voodoo Graphics#239#, a 3D graphics
accelerator

specifically designed for 3D entertainment applications in the

coin-operated/arcade and home consumer markets. Designed to enable a new

class of realistic and highly interactive 3D games, Voodoo Graphics offers

expanded capabilities above and beyond the basic 3D functionality that will

be found in commodity Windows and multimedia accelerators. Major consumer

and coin-op OEMs and developers have announced support for the chipset.

Fulltext:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mountain View, Calif., November 6, 1995 - 3Dfx Interactive, Inc., a company

focused solely on developing technology for interactive 3D electronic

entertainment, today announced Voodoo Graphics#239#, a 3D graphics
accelerator

specifically designed for 3D entertainment applications in the

coin-operated/arcade and home consumer markets. Designed to enable a new

class of realistic and highly interactive 3D games, Voodoo Graphics offers

expanded capabilities above and beyond the basic 3D functionality that will

be found in commodity Windows and multimedia accelerators. Major consumer

and coin-op OEMs and developers have announced support for the chipset.

"Voodoo Graphics was designed specifically to provide the highest quality,

most intense 3D game experience available anywhere," said Gordon Campbell,

chairman and CEO, 3Dfx Interactive. "While other manufacturers have
designed

3D for a diverse set of graphics applications, our focus has always been

interactive entertainment. The support we're receiving from the industry

indicates our course of action is the right one."

In separate announcements, 3Dfx Interactive revealed that Orchid Technology

and FMI Graphics Products, a business unit of Fujitsu Microelectronics,
Inc.

have signed OEM agreements to develop consumer 3D game boards based on

Voodoo Graphics. In the coin-operated entertainment market Data East and

Jaleco have announced support and are developing next generation arcade

games utilizing Voodoo Graphics. 3Dfx Interactive is working with

leading PC and coin-op game developers including Virgin Interactive

Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Interplay Productions, Acclaim

Entertainment, Mindscape, Sierra On-line, Looking Glass Technologies,

Accolade, Domark, and over 50 other developers worldwide.

Voodoo Advantage

"All of the graphics processors that have been introduced for the PC barely

meet the basic requirements for 3D," said Gary Tarolli, vice president and

chief scientist, 3Dfx Interactive. "Our design goals were much higher and

Voodoo Graphics incorporates state-of-the-art 3D features such as advanced

texture-mapping techniques including texture compositing, texture morphing,

and animated textures as well as superior filtering and MIP mapping

functionality. When combined with our performance capabilities developers

can produce really cool, interactive game experiences."

3D games require the combination of interactivity and visual realism. To

achieve elementary 3D functionality, a graphics chip needs to support

perspective correct polygons with point sampled texture mapping, Z- and

double-buffering, Gouraud shading capabilities and standard VGA resolution.

To take the gaming experience to the next level, 3Dfx Interactive has

included level-of-detail (LOD) MIP mapping, bi-linear and advanced
filtering

and SVGA resolution support. In addition, the chipset delivers realistic

imagery through sub-pixel correction, alpha blending, and anti-aliasing.

Most importantly however, unlike other multimedia accelerators that suffer

significant performance degradation when available 3D features are used,

Voodoo Graphics was designed to simultaneously offer all of these features

at real-time frame rates.

Voodoo Graphics also supports special effects for even greater game impact.

These include per-pixel effects such as fog, translucency, and
transparency,

texture compositing, a variety of lighting techniques, texture morphing,

animated textures, and reflection mapping. These features let game

developers deliver the most realistic interactive entertainment on the
market.

The Voodoo Graphics chipset supports full screen games under popular PC

operating systems including Microsoft Windows 95, MS DOS, and Microsoft

Windows 3.1 using 3D APIs including Microsoftis Direct3D, DirectDraw,

3D-DDI, and Reality Lab 2.0, as well as Intelis 3DR. The chipset also

supports embedded operating systems for coin-op/arcade platforms.

Development environments supported by the chipset include MS DOS,
WindowsNT,

Windows95, and Silicon Graphicsi IRIX. Important development tools and APIs

supported by Voodoo Graphics include Silicon Graphics' IRIS GL and OpenGL,

AutoDeskis 3D Studio, MultiGenis GameGen, and Gemini Technologyis OpenGVS.

"As a long-time SGI developer we're pleased that 3Dfx Interactive has gone

beyond the basic 3D checklist by providing workstation-quality features and

performance in their Voodoo Graphics 3D accelerator," said John Archdeacon,

vice president, Gemini Technology. "Voodoo Graphics is a powerful, low-cost

PC-based alternative to high-end graphics workstations. The combination of

our OpenGVS software with 3Dfx hardware technology is going to offer our

developers unprecedented 3D graphics price/performance."

Packaged in a two-chip set, the Voodoo Graphics architecture is a PCI Bus

2.1 compliant device that operates transparently with existing VGA and

Windows accelerators via analog pass through or shared frame buffer

implementations on Intel or RISC-based PCI platforms. The Voodoo Graphics

chipset is priced at less than $75 in 20,000 piece quantities. On

perspective correct, texture mapped, Z-buffered, filtered, LOD MIP mapped,

fogged, alpha blended, 50-pixel triangles Voodoo Graphics delivers more
than

45 megapixels per second fill rate and over 350,000 triangles per second

polygon rates on a Pentium 90. The first chip, pixelfx, is the primary

graphics controller and contains interfaces to the PCI bus and companion

texture processing unit, texelfx. The 3Dfx Interactive pixelfx graphics

controller is packaged in a 240-pin PQFP. texelfx, the advanced texture

processing unit, is packaged in a 208-pin PQFP.

"3Dfx Interactive's announcement reflects a growing recognition that the

Pentiuma processor is ideal for multimedia applications and games," said
Dev

Bose, director of software development, Intel Software Technology Lab.

"Complimentary solutions like the 3Dfx Interactive Voodoo Graphics

accelerator are great for today's Pentium processor-based systems."

3Dfx Interactive, Inc., founded in 1994, is a privately held company

headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. 3Dfx Interactive brings together a

team of leading professionals from the PC, video game, semiconductor, and
3D

graphics industries to provide new levels of interactive 3D electronic

entertainment.

###

Contact:

Contacts:
Alma Ribbs or Wendy Allen
3Dfx Interactive, Inc.
415-934-2400

Barbara Kohn or Roger Knott
Thomas Associates, Inc.
415-325-6236
e-mail: ro...@thomaspr.com
--
Fred Mah --- fm...@ecn.purdue.edu
http://widget.ecn.purdue.edu/~fmah

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