3Dfx screams ahead with Voodoo Banshee

3Dfx screams ahead with Voodoo Banshee
Roy Rubenstein US firm 3Dfx has entered the mainstream PC graphics market with the launch of its Voodoo Banshee chip. The Banshee is being targeted at PC OEMs whereas until now 3Dfx has concentrated on the high end 3D games market with its successful Voodoo Graphics and Voodoo2 chipsets. “We always planned to produce an OEM style chip but this has been delayed until now due to the success of the retail systems,” said Andy Keane, v-p of marketing. Keane countered the claim that this was a poor time to enter the crowded, competitive PC market by pointing to 3Dfx’s strength in the gaming market. “There are over 250 games titles ready to run on the Banshee.” The Banshee IC accelerates 2D and 3D graphics applications. It is based on the Voodoo2 core but has a single texture unit rather than Voodoo2’s dual architecture. Banshee also has an enhanced 2D graphics unit with additional hardware support. This not only enhances drawing performance but results in thinner software drivers, which further improves graphics benchmark performance. The 0.35?m, 6.5m transistor Banshee is made for 3Dfx by Taiwanese foundry TSMC. A device will be shrunk to a quarter micron process later this year.


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