3Dfx has unveiled the latest iteration of its Voodoo 3D graphics acceleration family, Voodoo3. The Voodoo3 chipset offers around twice the performance of two Voodoo2 boards running in parallel, 3Dfx claimed -- effectively four times the performance of a single Voodoo2 chipset. In statistical terms, it can generate seven million triangles per second through its 100 billion operations per second 3D architecture. The new chipset supports LCD panels and digital TV sets in addition to standard CRT monitors, and is capable of resolutions of up to 2048x1536 at 75Hz. It also provides DVD playback acceleration. Interestingly, Voodoo3 has been optimised for Microsoft's DirectX 6.0 API, clearly marking the first stage of a move away from 3DFx's own Glide API, which is looking increasingly unnecessary in a world dominated by DirectX and OpenGL. Voodoo3 will ship in two forms: the Voodoo3 2000 and Voodoo3 3000. The former is aimed at the PC manufacturers and motherboard vendors. The faster (it has a 366 megatexels per second fill rate versus the 2000's 250 megatexels per second) Voodoo3 is aimed at add-in card vendors targetting the games enthusiast market. Both versions are optimised for Intel's 440 LX/BX AGP chipsets and operate at the AGP 2x spec. AGP 4x versions will be released in the second half of 1999, said 3Dfx, following the release of the 2x products in the Q2 1999. Both will support SGRAM and SDRAM memory and work on Windows 95/98/2000, MacOS, Linux and other Unix operating systems. Pricing is expected to be in the $35 per 10,000 range for Voodoo3 2000 and $45 per 10,000 for the 3000. ®
- 3Dfx arch-rival Nvidia has revealed it plans to ship the successor to its Riva TNT games-oriented graphics accelerator spring next year. Current dubbed TNT Release 2, the company said that will change. The final version will offer twice the performance of the TNT, support 4-32MB of SDRAM or SGRAM, work at AGP 4x and offer a digital LCD panel interface.
Nvidia will also be releasing a mainstream business PC-oriented graphics chipset, Vanta, in Q1 1999.