3dfx rejigs Voodoo 5 release schedule

5500 AGP version delayed for extra testing after 'field failures'

3dfx has been forced to delay the widespread roll-out of its top end Voodoo 5 graphics accelerator, the 5500 AGP.

The company said this week that the action had been taken in the light of "field failures". 3dfx reckons only a small number of configurations are affected, and even then at low levels, but it said it felt it was prudent to pull the product to allow for further tests.

"We believe that this affects only a small number of configurations, but we feel that this is the safest thing to do," Randy Schussler, 3dfx's VP of operations, said in a statement. "We're taking this action to ensure that our customers receive a high quality product that exceeds their expectations."

The 5500 is a mighty beast sporting two VSA-100 accelerator chips and a shedload of memory, which would imply problems with the board's heat generation. But the fact that the delay doesn't appear to affect the more powerful Voodoo 5 6000, a more likely explanation is a batch of duff boards sent out from 3dfx's manufacturing facilities.

In short, the problem doesn't yet appear to be fundamental to the Voodoo 5 architecture, but rather to board assembly issues.

3dfx reckons the roll-out will be delayed by two weeks at most, seven days at best. ®

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