Feeds

GigaPixel takes on 3dfx, S3, Nvidia with… tiles

Tile-based rendering faster, better looking than polygons claims company

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

US 3D graphics specialist GigaPixel this week issued a challenge to the likes of 3dfx, Nvidia, S3 and ATI -- the company claims its GP-1 chip, based on its Giga3D architecture, has rival products well and truly licked on both image quality and performance. What makes GP-1 interesting is its use of a tile-based rendering scheme instead of the traditional polygon approached used by every other mainstream graphics accelerator.

According to GigaPixel CEO George Haber, GP-1 breaks a scene into a series of small tiles and renders each individually. That, he said, allows the chip to render a fully anti-aliased image -- which is where GP-1 gets its superior image quality from -- without the massive processing overhead it usually requires. Tiling the image also considerably reduces the card's bandwidth requirements by a factor of ten, he added, which also increases performance. GP-1 is fully compatible with the Direct3D and OpenGL APIs, Haber said.

The chip takes the polygon-based description of the scene and converts it into the sequence of tiles. Each tile is rendered and shaded as required then sent to the frame buffer. Haber demonstrated Quake II running on a GP-1 reference board and a Matrox 3D card, and while the frame rate appeared comparable, with its anti-aliasing, the GP-1's output certainly looked better. Of course, 3dfx's upcoming Napalm board will offer anti-aliasing -- though not full-scene anti-aliasing -- when it ships in Q1 2000. Haber dismissed the Napalm's T-buffer technology on a technical level since the board has to render each scene four times to make anti-aliasing work, but what does that matter if 3dfx can make it work cost-effectively and retain high frame rates? 3dfx's system will also offer other effects, such as motion blur and smooth shadows, which as yet the GP-1 does not. That said, the company's approach should give it the processing headroom to add more advanced features to later versions of the chip.

GigaPixel plans to license its technology to third-party graphics card vendors, much as Nvidia does. Haber said the company was already talking to at least one board manufacturer, but he would not name them or say how close the two firms are to a licensing deal. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.