More Verite - The Core......

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by swaaye, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    On the subject of the Verite chips, I have a question about the architecture in another way. I've heard the core is based on a MIPS RISC design, that it didn't do its thing the same way the other chips (Voodoo1) of the time did.

    Was it an extremely flexible design in that they could literally add new features at any time? Could it be viewed almost as a general purpose CPU running code in the drivers? What of the much-ballyhooed "triangle setup" engine everyone raved about because the Voodoo1 didn't have one?

    The 2D Windows performance just sucks. Could this be because it's running the 2D functions off the RISC core instead of a dedicated 2D unit?

    I've noticed with the card that when I'm booting into Windows the screen will blank out for a moment and then come back. The monitor goes into power saving mode during this time, about 3 seconds or so I'd say. When it blanks the Win98 startup screen is there, and it is still there when it comes back up. Could it be uploading firmware to the board?

    I'd love to hear your opinions about the design. From what I've heard it sounds quite different than the ASICs we have now.
     
  2. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I did some of my own research via Usenet. Bless Google Groups :)

    This is from Jim Peterson, then of Rendition. Interesting...
    Interesing posts from Robert Mullis, another former Rendition employee. Lots of nifty future speculation here.
    Super interesting thread with some comments by Brian Hook.
    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=...64ce0&seekm=32E3DF82.B94@wksoftware.com#link1

    Overall there were many comments saying that Verite's RISC architecture was at a severe disadvantage to ASICs like the Voodoo. Specialized hardware would always win. Many liked the flexibility a RISC core offered though.

    There was a huge problem with the Verite and early D3D. The two didn't get along well, especially with the Verite's DMA transfers. In the end, it cost it like 50% of its potential performance.

    It's all a very interesting historical view, and quite interesting relative to what we have today. At least to me 8)
     
  3. fresh

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    I remember you could upload your own microcode to the Verite. I asked for the specs, but they wouldnt give it to me. The guy at Rendition (forgot his name) did mention that they had special microcode for Quake and also for the water in Tombraider. The microcode wasn't accessible from their API (RRedline) either, unfortunately.

    So yes, it does seem like the Verite was quite programmable/flexible. Too bad it was so damn slow.
     
  4. mboeller

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    Oh boy...

    this thread remembers me about my favorite hypothetical console-system back then :

    basis : Saturn

    enhancements :

    66 or 100MHz SH3 with 4MB 66MHz SDRAM MainRAM
    33MHz V1000 with 4MB 66MHz SDRAM VideoRAM

    introduction middle of 1995


    imho this system would have been far better then either the N64 or the PS1; but with 8MB RAM really really expensive :D
     
  5. Hellbinder

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    :cry: Me Miss Rendition. They were always my favorite Graphics dudes...

    I still have my v1000 laying around somewhere...
     
  6. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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  7. Gunhead

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    Hey, the Pyramid3D (with T&L and everything) by Bitboys/Tritech was also microcode programmable!

    Yes, I know ;-) But a smallish amount of chips was produced, so technically it counts...

    http://www.vlsi.fi/products/vsvp.htm in case anybody's interested in history.
     
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