Blame Europe: now it's 3dfx's turn

Soft markets

3dfx, the leading graphics card maker, says its earnings and sales for the quarter ended 31 October will be "substantially" lower than expected. It attributes the shortfall to "overall softness in the European retail and system integrator channels".

The company says that its planned expansion into the OEEM market will shield it from the 'volatility and unpredictability' of the retail add-in board sector, where it is historically strongest. In other words its gunning for ATI territory.

As an example of an OEM contract, 3dfx cites last week's design win to supply Compaq with 3dfx's Voodoo5 5500 AGP products for the PC maker's build to order Presario programme.

The company is also keen to licence its
GigaPixelcores to "emerging, non-PC markets such as hand-held computers, mobile telephones, console games and set-top boxes".

Tony Smith adds: What 3dfx really needs to do is get moving on the successor to the VSA-100 chip that powers the Voodoo 4 and 5 lines. The company is well behind - at least in terms of what it's telling the outside world - on the six-monthly product refresh schedule the 3D graphics business now operates.

Even ATI realises this, which it recently expanded upon its Radeon roadmap, taking the chip to version two and beyond. ®

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