GeForce 256 Features an Integrated Transform Engine, Integrated Lighting Engine and a 256-bit Rendering Engine on a Single Chip
PALM SPRINGS, CA - AUGUST 31, 1999 - In an event that ushers in a new era of interactivity for the PC, NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) unveiled today the GeForce 256, the world's first graphics processing unit (GPU).
By delivering an order-of-magnitude increase in geometry processing power, dynamic lighting and real-time environment reflection capabilities, NVIDIA's GeForce 256 GPU will enable a whole new level of interactive content not previously possible. Developers can now harness the powerful new 3D medium to create rich, dynamic, and lifelike worlds and characters. Additionally, PCs powered by NVIDIA's GPU will be able to synthesise amazingly realistic environments with objects that behave according to complex physics and intelligent characters with lifelike personality.
The GeForce 256 GPU incorporates many groundbreaking innovations that drive a major discontinuity in the 3D graphics industry, a market already known for its staggering pace of innovation. The new groundbreaking features available on NVIDIA's GPU include:
· The first 256-bit 3D processor
· The first integrated geometry transform engine
· The first integrated dynamic lighting engine
· The first four-pixel rendering pipeline
· Stunning new Microsoft's DirectX 7.0 features: cube environment mapping, projective textures and vertex blending
"The GeForce 256 continues NVIDIA's long tradition of introducing groundbreaking technologies and trend-setting products to the PC market. In 1997, we created the first 128-bit 3D processor, the RIVA 128. In 1998, we delivered the first dual-pipe processor, the RIVA TNT. And now, we are introducing the world's first GPU, the GeForce 256," stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "The GPU is a major breakthrough for the industry and will fundamentally transform the 3D medium. It will enable a new generation of amazing interactive content that is alive, imaginative, and captivating. The richness of this new 3D medium will have a profound impact on future of storytelling and will broaden the appeal of 3D far beyond the game enthusiasts."
"Intel has been working with NVIDIA to shape the future of PC platforms and provide new levels of intelligence and realism in simulations, entertainment and enhanced Internet experiences," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel's vice president and general manager of the Desktop Products Group. "The Pentium® III processor, when balanced with next-generation GPU architectures like NVIDIA's, enables dramatically increased levels of lifelike 3D graphics on Intel high-performance desktop platforms."
The Biggest Thing to Hit 3D Graphics
The GeForce 256 GPU is an immensely complex device with nearly 23 million transistors, more than twice the complexity of the Pentium III microprocessor. And with 50 Gigaflops of floating-point calculation capability dedicated to 3D, equivalent to the performance of a maximum configuration 256-processor Cray T3D, NVIDIA's GeForce 256 GPU delivers an unprecedented 15 million sustained polygons per second and more than 480 million pixels per second. GeForce 256 supports up to 128MB of frame buffer memory, AGP 4X with Fast Writes - a unique feature in GeForce 256 - and a 350MHz RAMDAC to drive the most extreme resolutions and color depths, up to 2048 x 1536 @ 75Mhz. In addition to DirectX support, the GeForce 256 GPU provides full support for an OpenGL® Installable Client Driver (ICD) for Windows® 2000 and Windows NT®.
"NVIDIA's GeForce256 GPU heralds a new era of ultra-realistic real-time graphics on standard personal computers," said Kevin Bachus, group product manager for DirectX at Microsoft Corp. "The combination of broad support for the features exposed by the Direct3D 7.0 API, blazingly fast performance, and consumer-friendly prices will enable software developers to realise their creative visions and deliver exciting new entertainment experiences to Windows users everywhere."
Add-in card manufacturers developing GeForce 256-based graphics boards include: Creative Labs, ELSA, Guillemot, ASUSTeK, Canopus and Leadtek.
NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the world's leading supplier of performance 3D graphics processors, is the only independent top-to-bottom supplier of 3D graphics solutions for mainstream PCs. NVIDIA designs, markets and sells an award-winning family of 3D processors, delivering industry-leading performance and visual quality for a broad range of PC-based applications, including enterprise visualisation, e-commerce, e-business, education and entertainment. Used by the top PC OEMs in the world, NVIDIA's products are distributed through a worldwide channel that includes PC OEM, add-in card and motherboard partners in Europe, Asia and North America. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at http://www.nvidia.com.
Certain statements in this press release, including the statements relating to the Company's performance expectations for NVIDIA's family of products and expectations of continued revenue growth, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, manufacturing and other delays relating to new products, difficulties in the fabrication process and dependence of the Company on third party manufacturers, general industry trends, including cyclical trends in the PC and semiconductor industries, the impact of competitive products and pricing alternatives, market acceptance of the Company's new products and the Company's dependence on third party developers and publishers. Investors are advised to read the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly those sections entitled "Factors Affecting Operating Results," for a fuller discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
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Notes to Editors: The recommended way of writing GeForce 256 is with an uppercase G and F, all other letters lowercase with a space between GeForce and 256.
The recommended way of writing Vanta is in title case. Please note that the recommended way of writing NVIDIA, RIVA 128, RIVA 128ZX, RIVA TNT and RIVA TNT2 is all CAPITALS.
NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, RIVA TNT, RIVA TNT2, NVIDIA Vanta and GeForce 256 are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation. RIVA, RIVA 128 and RIVA 128ZX are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation and STMicroelectronics. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
For Further Information, Contact:
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Tel: +1 408 615-2630/ Email: email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.orgM
+1 408 615-2772
What The Industry is Saying
"The sheer power of NVIDIA's next-generation GPU gives us greater freedom when designing characters and worlds. The technology not only allows us to incorporate unbelievably detailed visuals, but also offers the ability to add more robust artificial intelligence, level design and other features. In short, it's the next giant step in gaming,"
- Darren Falcus, vice president and general manager, Acclaim Studios Teeside
"Hardware transform and lighting allows us to build larger, more realistic and intensely detailed real time 3D worlds for our games."
- Patrick Moynihan, co-founder, The Whole Experience
"With NVIDIA's new GeForce 256 GPU, a rebalancing of system resources occurs that radically changes the capabilities of the PC architecture. By enabling new levels of functionality to be off-loaded from the processor, software designers can now re-focus the power of the AMD Athlon processor on other areas such as artificial intelligence or the application of real-world physics."
- Dirk Meyer, vice president of engineering, AMD's computation products group
"The GeForce 256 with its transform, lighting, and four-pipe rendering engines moves the graphics processor into the forefront and makes it a true co-processor, by off-loading the CPU of all functions in the graphics pipeline and allowing graphics to scale with the graphics processing unit. So, in addition to providing the developer an order of magnitude increase in graphics horsepower, the GeForce 256 makes it possible for developers to focus on factors like artificial intelligence and physics - two of the hottest topics in the applications space. Our research indicates the demand for GPUs like the GeForce 256 will exceed 50 million units in 2000 and have an average growth rate of over twenty percent."
- Dr. Jon Peddie, president, of Jon Peddie Associates (Tiburon, CA), the leading market research firm tracking digital media
"The new GPU from NVIDIA will allow us to do the kind of wild and amazing stuff that we have been dreaming about for years. By using the transform and lighting features we free up a ton of the CPU for better artificial intelligence and more accurate physics. People are going to be blown away by the amazing visuals that are going to more intense than ever!"
- Chris Taylor, Gas Powered Games.
"With the announcement of the GeForce 256, NVIDIA continues to extend its leadership in innovative graphics technology. The combination of NVIDIA's technology leadership and Creative's market leadership, will result in a compelling new graphics card for hard core gamers this holiday season."
- Steve Mosher, vice president of Graphics Business, Creative Labs
"NVIDIA has proven once again that they can redefine the quality, speed and performance of PC graphics with the outstanding technology of their GeForce GPU. As it is Guillemot's primary purpose to offer the best gaming experience, we are proud to continue our strategic partnership with the launch of our new accelerator based on the revolutionary new GeForce GPU."
- Claude Guillemot, president and CEO, Guillemot Corporation
"NVIDIA has the most advanced technology to engineer industry-leading 3D graphics engines. Leadtek is excited about partnering with NVIDIA in launching our new graphics board with the innovative GPU technology and leveraging the power of GeForce 256 towards a broad range of 3D market needs."
- Hun-Shen Yue, vice president of sales and marketing, Leadtek
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