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Nvidia's History with Sega

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2004 3:36:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.

_______________________________________________________________________________

NVIDIA's Console Chip

NV2

NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
if it brought additional performance.
Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
not ready to quit.



There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
Mission Impossible?
Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?

After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
_______________________________________________________________________________

The Beginning

In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
further back than that.
To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
at the same location.

Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
experience for its next-generation console."

Quad Texture Maps, bad

1995: The launch of the NV1
As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.

Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.


More quads!
The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
difficult.


Back to the storyline
At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.

Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
triangles.

Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
to QTMs."

The End of the NV2

Just say no to triangles
Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
"transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
to quit himself.


Pico?
NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
the next-generation Sega Pico.
The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.

The death of NV2
What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
never existed as a working product."

Sega Black Belt

Real3D and 3dfx
With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.

Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
market.

Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.


3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
running more quickly.
The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.

After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
the Dreamcast was born.

3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."

NVIDIA

Changes
Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
his game development experience.


Success
NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
rest of course, is history.
In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
Microsoft Xbox.
_______________________________________________________________________________

full articles can be found here:

http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...

http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp

More about : nvidia history sega

Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2004 1:51:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

Zackman,

Valid question on the relationship.

Stop your bad mouth, you the one that no one wants to read.

Wash your mouth out with soap if you can find any, you cheap person.

Stop counting the bytes you receive, you'll get more.

Or Stop reading if you dont like it, try skipping the text?

Just an idea.

No ! Get a life.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2004 5:05:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

interesting read, thanks :) 


"R420" <radeonr420@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:51488ce2.0406132236.62969e12@posting.google.com...
> found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> NVIDIA's Console Chip
>
> NV2
>
> NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
> more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
> had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
> promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
> somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
> number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
> non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
> and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
> if it brought additional performance.
> Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
> Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
> through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
> and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
> Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
> Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
> not ready to quit.
>
>
>
> There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
> clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
> resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
> Mission Impossible?
> Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
> trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
> James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
> weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
> of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
> save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
> to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?
>
> After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
> together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
> RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
> next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
> NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> The Beginning
>
> In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
> relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
> games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
> further back than that.
> To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
> The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
> most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
> four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
> had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
> at the same location.
>
> Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
> With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
> Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
> experience for its next-generation console."
>
> Quad Texture Maps, bad
>
> 1995: The launch of the NV1
> As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
> first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
> Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
> processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
> solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
> the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
> Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
> for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
> chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
> high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
> approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.
>
> Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
> mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
> signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
> even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.
>
>
> More quads!
> The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
> two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
> maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
> quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
> The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
> Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
> Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
> good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
> in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
> horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
> difficult.
>
>
> Back to the storyline
> At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
> approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
> Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
> quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
> Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
> programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
> contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
> manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
> going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
> groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
> Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
> likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
> did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
> most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
> Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.
>
> Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
> best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
> do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
> interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
> exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
> pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
> development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
> triangles.
>
> Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
> Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
> but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
> allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
> adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
> to QTMs."
>
> The End of the NV2
>
> Just say no to triangles
> Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
> NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
> concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
> that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
> for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
> distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
> to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
> As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
> need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
> today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
> poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
> "transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
> fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
> to quit himself.
>
>
> Pico?
> NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
> they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
> not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
> use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
> the next-generation Sega Pico.
> The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
> toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
> that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
> had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
> Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
> NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.
>
> The death of NV2
> What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
> known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
> the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
> more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
> eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
> never existed as a working product."
>
> Sega Black Belt
>
> Real3D and 3dfx
> With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
> partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
> Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
> Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
> later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
> likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
> Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
> The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
> gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
> gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.
>
> Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
> made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
> offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
> Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
> create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
> market.
>
> Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
> name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
> variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.
>
>
> 3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
> While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
> Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
> NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
> told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
> best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
> running more quickly.
> The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
> NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
> consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
> insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.
>
> After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
> found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
> NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
> be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
> as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
> console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
> the Dreamcast was born.
>
> 3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
> deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
> before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
> VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."
>
> NVIDIA
>
> Changes
> Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
> led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
> participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
> made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
> The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
> Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
> Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
> and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
> his game development experience.
>
>
> Success
> NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
> entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
> rest of course, is history.
> In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
> it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
> Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
> transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
> mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
> leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
> being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
> Microsoft Xbox.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> full articles can be found here:
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp
June 14, 2004 9:13:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

R420,
I find your posts very interesting and relevant to this newsgroup (xbox),
keep on doing it. And keep on pasting the text, it is easier that way.



"R420" <radeonr420@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:51488ce2.0406132236.62969e12@posting.google.com...
> found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> NVIDIA's Console Chip
>
> NV2
>
> NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
> more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
> had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
> promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
> somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
> number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
> non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
> and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
> if it brought additional performance.
> Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
> Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
> through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
> and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
> Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
> Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
> not ready to quit.
>
>
>
> There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
> clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
> resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
> Mission Impossible?
> Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
> trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
> James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
> weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
> of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
> save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
> to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?
>
> After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
> together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
> RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
> next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
> NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> The Beginning
>
> In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
> relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
> games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
> further back than that.
> To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
> The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
> most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
> four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
> had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
> at the same location.
>
> Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
> With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
> Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
> experience for its next-generation console."
>
> Quad Texture Maps, bad
>
> 1995: The launch of the NV1
> As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
> first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
> Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
> processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
> solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
> the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
> Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
> for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
> chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
> high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
> approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.
>
> Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
> mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
> signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
> even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.
>
>
> More quads!
> The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
> two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
> maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
> quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
> The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
> Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
> Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
> good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
> in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
> horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
> difficult.
>
>
> Back to the storyline
> At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
> approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
> Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
> quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
> Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
> programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
> contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
> manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
> going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
> groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
> Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
> likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
> did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
> most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
> Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.
>
> Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
> best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
> do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
> interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
> exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
> pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
> development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
> triangles.
>
> Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
> Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
> but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
> allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
> adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
> to QTMs."
>
> The End of the NV2
>
> Just say no to triangles
> Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
> NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
> concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
> that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
> for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
> distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
> to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
> As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
> need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
> today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
> poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
> "transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
> fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
> to quit himself.
>
>
> Pico?
> NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
> they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
> not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
> use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
> the next-generation Sega Pico.
> The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
> toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
> that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
> had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
> Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
> NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.
>
> The death of NV2
> What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
> known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
> the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
> more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
> eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
> never existed as a working product."
>
> Sega Black Belt
>
> Real3D and 3dfx
> With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
> partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
> Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
> Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
> later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
> likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
> Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
> The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
> gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
> gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.
>
> Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
> made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
> offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
> Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
> create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
> market.
>
> Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
> name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
> variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.
>
>
> 3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
> While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
> Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
> NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
> told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
> best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
> running more quickly.
> The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
> NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
> consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
> insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.
>
> After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
> found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
> NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
> be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
> as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
> console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
> the Dreamcast was born.
>
> 3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
> deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
> before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
> VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."
>
> NVIDIA
>
> Changes
> Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
> led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
> participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
> made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
> The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
> Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
> Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
> and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
> his game development experience.
>
>
> Success
> NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
> entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
> rest of course, is history.
> In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
> it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
> Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
> transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
> mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
> leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
> being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
> Microsoft Xbox.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> full articles can be found here:
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 7:27:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

On 13 Jun 2004 23:36:51 -0700, radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote:

Nice story R420..
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 6:18:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"Pio" <pio@home.com> wrote:

>R420,
>I find your posts very interesting and relevant to this newsgroup (xbox),
>keep on doing it. And keep on pasting the text, it is easier that way.

Stupid top poster. Ever hear of trimming?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 7:52:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

R420 wrote:
> found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
>
> _______________________________________________________________________________
>
> NVIDIA's Console Chip
>
> NV2
>
> NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
> more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
> had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
> promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
> somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
> number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
> non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
> and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
> if it brought additional performance.
> Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
> Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
> through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
> and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
> Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
> Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
> not ready to quit.
>
>
>
> There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
> clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
> resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
> Mission Impossible?
> Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
> trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
> James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
> weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
> of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
> save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
> to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?
>
> After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
> together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
> RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
> next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
> NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
> _______________________________________________________________________________
>
> The Beginning
>
> In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
> relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
> games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
> further back than that.
> To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
> The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
> most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
> four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
> had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
> at the same location.
>
> Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
> With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
> Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
> experience for its next-generation console."
>
> Quad Texture Maps, bad
>
> 1995: The launch of the NV1
> As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
> first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
> Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
> processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
> solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
> the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
> Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
> for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
> chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
> high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
> approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.
>
> Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
> mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
> signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
> even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.
>
>
> More quads!
> The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
> two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
> maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
> quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
> The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
> Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
> Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
> good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
> in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
> horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
> difficult.
>
>
> Back to the storyline
> At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
> approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
> Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
> quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
> Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
> programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
> contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
> manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
> going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
> groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
> Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
> likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
> did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
> most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
> Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.
>
> Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
> best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
> do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
> interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
> exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
> pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
> development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
> triangles.
>
> Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
> Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
> but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
> allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
> adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
> to QTMs."
>
> The End of the NV2
>
> Just say no to triangles
> Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
> NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
> concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
> that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
> for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
> distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
> to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
> As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
> need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
> today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
> poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
> "transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
> fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
> to quit himself.
>
>
> Pico?
> NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
> they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
> not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
> use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
> the next-generation Sega Pico.
> The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
> toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
> that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
> had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
> Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
> NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.
>
> The death of NV2
> What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
> known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
> the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
> more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
> eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
> never existed as a working product."
>
> Sega Black Belt
>
> Real3D and 3dfx
> With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
> partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
> Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
> Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
> later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
> likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
> Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
> The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
> gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
> gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.
>
> Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
> made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
> offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
> Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
> create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
> market.
>
> Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
> name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
> variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.
>
>
> 3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
> While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
> Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
> NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
> told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
> best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
> running more quickly.
> The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
> NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
> consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
> insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.
>
> After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
> found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
> NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
> be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
> as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
> console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
> the Dreamcast was born.
>
> 3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
> deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
> before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
> VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."
>
> NVIDIA
>
> Changes
> Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
> led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
> participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
> made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
> The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
> Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
> Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
> and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
> his game development experience.
>
>
> Success
> NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
> entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
> rest of course, is history.
> In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
> it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
> Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
> transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
> mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
> leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
> being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
> Microsoft Xbox.
> _______________________________________________________________________________
>
> full articles can be found here:
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp

I always thought the NV1 was the most intriguing chip NV ever made.
Using quads may have been wasteful and tricky, but it was definitely the
most unique early accelerator made. I even remember a ann-in card by
Diamond that was basically a Satun on a PCI board. It had controller
ports and Panzer Dragoon.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 10:30:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

Buddee wrote:

> Don't read it if you don't like it. You're the one doing all the
> wasting... wasting our time with your needless bitching.

Then don't read it if you don't like it, moron.

-Z-
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 11:17:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"deimos" <deimos@localhost.net> wrote in message
news:2j95qoFulb6uU1@uni-berlin.de...
> R420 wrote:
> > found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> > Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
> >
> >
____________________________________________________________________________
___
> >
> > NVIDIA's Console Chip
> >
> > NV2
> >
> > NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
> > more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
> > had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
> > promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
> > somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
> > number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
> > non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
> > and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
> > if it brought additional performance.
> > Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> > reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> > today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
> > Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
> > through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
> > and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
> > Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
> > Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
> > not ready to quit.
> >
> >
> >
> > There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
> > clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
> > resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
> > Mission Impossible?
> > Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
> > trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
> > James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
> > weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
> > of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
> > save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
> > to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?
> >
> > After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
> > together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
> > RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
> > next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
> > NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
> >
____________________________________________________________________________
___
> >
> > The Beginning
> >
> > In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
> > relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
> > games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
> > further back than that.
> > To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
> > The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
> > most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
> > four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
> > had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
> > at the same location.
> >
> > Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
> > With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
> > Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
> > experience for its next-generation console."
> >
> > Quad Texture Maps, bad
> >
> > 1995: The launch of the NV1
> > As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
> > first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
> > Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
> > processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
> > solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
> > the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
> > Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
> > for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
> > chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
> > high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
> > approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.
> >
> > Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
> > mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
> > signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
> > even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.
> >
> >
> > More quads!
> > The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
> > two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
> > maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
> > quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
> > The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
> > Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
> > Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
> > good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
> > in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
> > horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
> > difficult.
> >
> >
> > Back to the storyline
> > At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
> > approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
> > Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
> > quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
> > Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
> > programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
> > contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
> > manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
> > going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
> > groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
> > Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
> > likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
> > did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
> > most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
> > Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.
> >
> > Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
> > best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
> > do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
> > interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
> > exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
> > pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
> > development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
> > triangles.
> >
> > Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
> > Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
> > but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
> > allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
> > adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
> > to QTMs."
> >
> > The End of the NV2
> >
> > Just say no to triangles
> > Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
> > NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
> > concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
> > that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
> > for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
> > distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
> > to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
> > As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
> > need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
> > today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
> > poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
> > "transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
> > fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
> > to quit himself.
> >
> >
> > Pico?
> > NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
> > they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
> > not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
> > use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
> > the next-generation Sega Pico.
> > The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
> > toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
> > that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
> > had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
> > Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
> > NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.
> >
> > The death of NV2
> > What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
> > known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
> > the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
> > more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
> > eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
> > never existed as a working product."
> >
> > Sega Black Belt
> >
> > Real3D and 3dfx
> > With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
> > partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
> > Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
> > Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
> > later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
> > likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
> > Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
> > The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
> > gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
> > gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.
> >
> > Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
> > made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
> > offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
> > Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
> > create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
> > market.
> >
> > Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
> > name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
> > variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.
> >
> >
> > 3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
> > While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
> > Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
> > NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
> > told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
> > best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
> > running more quickly.
> > The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
> > NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
> > consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
> > insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.
> >
> > After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
> > found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
> > NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
> > be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
> > as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
> > console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
> > the Dreamcast was born.
> >
> > 3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
> > deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
> > before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
> > VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."
> >
> > NVIDIA
> >
> > Changes
> > Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
> > led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
> > participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
> > made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
> > The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
> > Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
> > Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
> > and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
> > his game development experience.
> >
> >
> > Success
> > NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
> > entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
> > rest of course, is history.
> > In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
> > it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
> > Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
> > transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
> > mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
> > leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
> > being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
> > Microsoft Xbox.
> >
____________________________________________________________________________
___
> >
> > full articles can be found here:
> >
> > http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...
> >
> > http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp
>
> I always thought the NV1 was the most intriguing chip NV ever made.
> Using quads may have been wasteful and tricky, but it was definitely the
> most unique early accelerator made. I even remember a ann-in card by
> Diamond that was basically a Satun on a PCI board. It had controller
> ports and Panzer Dragoon.

I believe you are thinking of the Diamond Edge 3D card. that is the card
that *used* the NV1 chip. the Diamond card had ports for Saturn
controllers. several Saturn games including Panzer Dragoon and VF Remix
were ported from the Saturn to the NV1 chip / Diamond Edge 3D card. the card
was not a Saturn though.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2004 11:17:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

need for speed wrote:

> I believe you are thinking of the Diamond Edge 3D card.

<snip>

Did you guys really need to include all 13KB of the original post to add
your one paragraph responses? Just curious.

-Z-
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 5:08:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"chrisv" <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:griuc0dpk5j2o0pa3vs0qc3oo3hm5cn3f6@4ax.com...
> "Pio" <pio@home.com> wrote:
>
> >R420,
> >I find your posts very interesting and relevant to this newsgroup (xbox),
> >keep on doing it. And keep on pasting the text, it is easier that way.
>
> Stupid top poster. Ever hear of trimming?

lol

B.
>
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 5:13:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"Zackman" <zackman@SPAMISEVILearthling.net> wrote in message
news:cao4ee0811@news2.newsguy.com...
> need for speed wrote:
>
> > I believe you are thinking of the Diamond Edge 3D card.
>
> <snip>
>
> Did you guys really need to include all 13KB of the original post to add
> your one paragraph responses? Just curious.
>
> -Z-
>
>
Pardon me, but I don't get it. What's the big deal with everybody counting
bytes? Are you guys on dial ups or something?? Anybody who's buying Xbox's
or purchasing high end video cards should be able to fork over the big $25
for high speed. Is there something I'm missing??

B.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 11:09:53 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

In article <1didnQv5ffq6YlLdRVn-gg@novus-tele.net>, Buddee <no@way.com> wrote:
>"Zackman" <zackman@SPAMISEVILearthling.net> wrote in message
>news:cao4ee0811@news2.newsguy.com...
>> need for speed wrote:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> Did you guys really need to include all 13KB of the original post to add
>> your one paragraph responses? Just curious.
>>
>Pardon me, but I don't get it. What's the big deal with everybody counting
>bytes? Are you guys on dial ups or something?? Anybody who's buying Xbox's
>or purchasing high end video cards should be able to fork over the big $25
>for high speed. Is there something I'm missing??

As Usenet is a text-based medium, it's considered polite to edit posts and
include only relevant information in responses. Depending on your ISP,
some users are charged per message or per byte for news usage. This type
of limitation is not necessarily related to the speed of the connection or
any other limits on web-based downloads or other protocol usage. Giganews
is an example of a high-speed news service that bills you for each
kilobyte over a limit chosen when you subscribe to their service.

Also, note that interest in a topic does not necessarily demonstrate
financial or technological capbility. Web-based newsgroup access is free
in major urban areas of the United States through public services.

Please see the links below for guidelines on proper behavior on Usenet.
Thanks.

http://www.imagescape.com/helpweb/news/newsnet.html
http://www.advicemeant.com/netiquet/usenet.shtml
http://www.fau.edu/netiquette/net/elec.html

-KKC
--
-- "I'm going to put a nickel in this jar every time I get - kendrick
a phone call from a mortgage company trying to make me - @io.com
refinance for no good reason. In three or four months,
there should be enough money to pay for some mob hits." - KKC
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 11:18:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 22:05:16 -0400, "Zackman"
<zackman@SPAMISEVILearthling.net> wrote:

>Darthy wrote:
>
>> Eat poo
>>
>> Nothing wrong with the post.
>
>Yeah, shithead, there is. It's a waste of bandwidth that could be just as
>easily served by a link, posted by a guy who spends his entire day --
>literally -- cutting and pasting to Usenet. And what the hell is it doing in
>the Xbox group?

XBox uses a NVidia chip, and the article was about the less known
history of NVidia. The article itself even mentions that.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 11:18:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"N" <n@invalid.invalid.com> wrote in message
news:p usvc0dlqds56fs80v0bvf4udbdtvmk730@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 22:05:16 -0400, "Zackman"
> <zackman@SPAMISEVILearthling.net> wrote:
>
> >Darthy wrote:
> >
> >> Eat poo
> >>
> >> Nothing wrong with the post.
> >
> >Yeah, shithead, there is. It's a waste of bandwidth that could be just as
> >easily served by a link, posted by a guy who spends his entire day --
> >literally -- cutting and pasting to Usenet. And what the hell is it doing
in
> >the Xbox group?
>
> XBox uses a NVidia chip, and the article was about the less known
> history of NVidia. The article itself even mentions that.
>

that makes the post acceptable for the Xbox group, imho.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2004 1:17:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

N wrote:

> XBox uses a NVidia chip, and the article was about the less known
> history of NVidia. The article itself even mentions that.

So if I post a 13KB story about all the things my dearly departed grandma
used enjoy shoving into her wrinkly twat and mention that one of them was an
Xbox controller, that clears it for posting in this NG too? Excellent,
thanks.

Ancient history about the Nvidia line and its ties with Sega, plus a brief
mention of the Nvidia chips used in the Xbox, neither warrants it being
posted to the Xbox group nor warrants it be posted in its entirety PERIOD
when an excerpt and a link would suffice. But if you want to support the
obsessions of a known spammer, troll and would-be identity thief, that's
your perogative. In that case I also suggest you do a Google search for a
user named Cygnus in alt.games.video.xbox to get an idea of his previous
activities in these groups. Here, lemme help:

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&scor...

-Z-
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2004 2:13:20 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

Mr. Brian Allen wrote:

> My post was 2KB.

Sorry. To get to *one's* pithy response at the bottom. You were not one of
the offenders.

> I'm trying to discover the relevancy of any of your postings. You've
> now made 6 postings in this thread bitching about the existence of
> the thread. Smart.

And yet those posts combined represent less of a waste of bandwidth/time
than Cygnus/R420's original post. Keen huh?

-Z-
June 17, 2004 4:48:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

BLUE RIBBON POST for sure. compliments of Evga

"R420" <radeonr420@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:51488ce2.0406132236.62969e12@posting.google.com...
> found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> NVIDIA's Console Chip
>
> NV2
>
> NVIDIA's financial savior came in the form of a video game console,
> more specifically, a Sega video game console. Through the NV1, NVIDIA
> had established a strong working relationship with Sega. The chip
> promoted sales of Saturn accessories and Sega programmers were
> somewhat familiar with quadratic surfaces after having ported a small
> number of games for the NV1. Most importantly, Direct3D was a
> non-issue because many of the Japanese console developers were ready
> and willing to use the unconventional technology of quadratic surfaces
> if it brought additional performance.
> Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2. Unfortunately,
> Sega eventually dropped the NV2 to give the Dreamcast a better future
> through an easier programming environment. Sega ended up going to 3dfx
> and later to PowerVR for the graphics technology in the Dreamcast.
> Little else is known about the NV2 story and the timing of events.
> Despite limited success of the NV1 and failure of the NV2, NVIDIA was
> not ready to quit.
>
>
>
> There's something cool about covert intelligence agents and
> clandestine ventures. Secret agents have to combine intelligence,
> resourcefulness, and style. Who wouldn't want to be Ethan Hunt in
> Mission Impossible?
> Who knows how Solid Snake came up with his inventive "cardboard box"
> trick in Metal Gear Solid? Of course, you certainly cannot forget
> James Bond with his cars, his gadgets, and his women. In the recent
> weeks, FiringSquad had a chance to play secret agent too! The purpose
> of our mission wasn't to ferret out moles within our organization,
> save the world, or even order martinis, shaken-not-stirred. We wanted
> to know the answer to a gamer's question: What the heck was the NV2?
>
> After a few "little birdies" flew in our window, we were able to piece
> together a detailed account of NVIDIA NV2, the chip that predated the
> RIVA 128. This is the chip that Sega originally commissioned for its
> next-generation console, the Dreamcast. The NV2 is the chip that was
> NVIDIA's greatest fiasco.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> The Beginning
>
> In our History of NVIDIA article we hypothesized that Sega started a
> relationship with NVIDIA only after having spent some time porting
> games over to the NV1. This was a mistake -the connection traces
> further back than that.
> To begin our story, we need to go all the way back to the Sega Saturn.
> The Saturn used a Sega-developed graphics chip that was considered by
> most of the world to be dreadful. The geometric primitive was a
> four-vertex polygon (not three). As a result, triangles on the Saturn
> had to be represented by a degenerate quad with two vertices existing
> at the same location.
>
> Developers hated quads and wanted something better, namely triangles.
> With the Sony PlayStation handily killing the Sega Saturn at retail,
> Sega decided that it needed to partner with a company with 3D graphics
> experience for its next-generation console."
>
> Quad Texture Maps, bad
>
> 1995: The launch of the NV1
> As we mentioned in our History of NVIDIA article, the NV1 was NVIDIA's
> first chip and was considered to be ahead of its time in many regards.
> Specifically, the NV1 was novel in that it integrated audio and I/O
> processing on a single chip along with video. While integrated
> solutions may not have been appealing on the PC, this was perfect for
> the console, as a highly integrated part would keep costs low.
> Sega hoped that it could get NVIDIA to tweak the NV1's 3D architecture
> for its console needs, allowing the company to take advantage of the
> chip's low-cost graphics with integrated audio and I/O processing. A
> high level deal was made between NVIDIA and Sega of Japan involving
> approximately 7 million dollars in investment capital.
>
> Interestingly enough, the upper management at Sega had been so
> mesmerized by the possibilities of integration that the deal was
> signed before the NV1 was actually released to retail, before Sega
> even knew what NVIDIA's idea of 3D was.
>
>
> More quads!
> The NV1 was technologically superior to other chips of that era from
> two perspectives: audio and I/O. Unfortunately, the quadratic texture
> maps were not so appealing, and outside of NVIDIA, no one believed in
> quadratic texture maps -not even Sega.
> The NV1 used forward-rendered quads, which was essentially what the
> Saturn had done, and was exactly what developers hated most about the
> Saturn. Now NVIDIA was trying to convince Sega that it was still a
> good approach. The tech demos of round spheres always looked nice, but
> in real-world games, working with quadratic texture maps was
> horrendous. Even simple things such as collision detection become very
> difficult.
>
>
> Back to the storyline
> At this time (1995-1996), NVIDIA was still a fledgling startup with
> approximately 30 employees and NVIDIA's Chief Technical Officer,
> Curtis Priem, was enamored by quadratic texture maps. As CTO, he made
> quadratic texture maps the standard at NVIDIA.
> Shortly after executives at Sega and NVIDIA had signed the deal, Sega
> programming legend Yu Suzuki entered the scene. Although the original
> contract had already been signed at high-levels, the arcade
> manufacturing groups had a great deal of influence over what chip was
> going to be used in the next console, but despite their power, the AM
> groups did not see the console as their core market or concern. While
> Sega had its ups and downs in the home market competing against the
> likes of Nintendo and later Sony, its arcade division traditionally
> did very well. Indeed, although Capcom's Street Fighter II was the
> most popular arcade game in the world since Pac-Man, Sega's Virtua
> Fighter actually had a lead in Japan for a short time.
>
> Suzuki-san, head of Sega's flagship AM2 division, assigned one of his
> best graphics people to interface with NVIDIA in the US. Although we
> do not have this engineer's name, we know that he had previously
> interfaced with Real3D in the past, and, from outside reports, had an
> exceptional understanding of 3D graphics techniques and rendering
> pipelines. Most importantly, he knew exactly what the AM software
> development groups at Sega needed in a graphics chip, namely
> triangles.
>
> Meetings were held to discuss the rendering primitive for the NV2.
> Sega pushed for real triangle acceleration to be included in the NV2,
> but NVIDIA did not comply. NVIDIA insisted that time was better
> allocated developing the quadratic texture map portion of the NV2 and
> adapting existing triangle-based development tools such as 3D modelers
> to QTMs."
>
> The End of the NV2
>
> Just say no to triangles
> Despite Sega of America's and the AM2 representative's best efforts,
> NVIDIA remained adamant on using quadratic texture maps and refused to
> concentrate on triangle primitives. In the end, our sources tell us
> that NVIDIA may have eventually agreed to support better acceleration
> for triangles, but by then, Sega of Japan had already begun to
> distance itself from NVIDIA, and Sega's US team was quietly told "not
> to worry about the NVIDIA thing anymore."
> As a Japanese company, Sega could never kill a deal, for there was a
> need to maintain honor and face. These cultural elements can be seen
> today when top Japanese executives choose to demote themselves after
> poor earnings reports, or when disappointing employees are
> "transferred" to small offices and given no assignments rather than
> fired. The expectation is that the shame alone will lead the employee
> to quit himself.
>
>
> Pico?
> NVIDIA was relegated to this similar position. Sega told NVIDIA that
> they were still contracted to provide a chip for Sega, but that it was
> not going to be used in its next generation console. The plan was to
> use the chip in a less demanding multimedia consumer product, probably
> the next-generation Sega Pico.
> The Sega Pico, as some of you may not know, was a kid's educational
> toy targeted for children, 2-8 years old. It was a stylus and tablet
> that connected to the TV and used cartridges as its media. The Pico
> had such great titles as "Magic Crayons", "Richard Scarry's Huckle
> Lowly's Busiest Day Ever", and even a few Disney titles. Basically,
> NVIDIA was most likely delegated to work on a glorified See 'n Say.
>
> The death of NV2
> What was the actual performance of the NV2? The truth will never be
> known. When the first silicon came back, it didn't work. NVIDIA respun
> the chip a few more times, but it soon became clear that the chip had
> more than just minor problems. With such dismal results, the NV2 team
> eventually called it quits. To the best of our knowledge, the NV2
> never existed as a working product."
>
> Sega Black Belt
>
> Real3D and 3dfx
> With the collapse of the NVIDIA deal, Sega started looking for another
> partner and eventually hooked up with Real3D, then a subsidiary of
> Lockheed Martin. This seemed like a good match as Sega had worked with
> Real3D on the development of the Model 2 arcade machine, and would
> later work together again on the Model 3. The console chip would
> likely have been at the same performance level or just slightly below
> Real3D's PC chip, the Intel i740.
> The console was codenamed "Black Belt". Sega reasoned that casual
> gamers could get a "white belt" gaming system such as a PC, but real
> gamers would want something better, a "black belt" system.
>
> Although there were discussions between Real3D and Sega, Real3D never
> made any silicon for the Black Belt. 3dfx had beaten Real3D by
> offering better performance and a more robust feature set. Officially,
> Real3D stated that the business model for the console market did not
> create a win-win situation with Sega as it did in the high-end arcade
> market.
>
> Sega awarded 3dfx with the chip contract. The console's Black Belt
> name remained even after the graphics chip was to be replaced by a
> variant of the 3dfx Voodoo2.
>
>
> 3dfx, NEC, and VideoLogic
> While Sega of America was working on the 3dfx-based console, Sega of
> Japan was tasked with the development of a parallel console powered by
> NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR chipset, codenamed Katana. The teams were
> told that the "winner" wouldn't necessarily be the machine with the
> best performance. It would be the one which would have games up and
> running more quickly.
> The contest would became an exercise in futility as Sega of Japan and
> NEC eventually struck a deal to use the PowerVR chip before the two
> consoles were actually ready to be compared. Black Belt engineers
> insisted that their 3dfx-powered system would have won the race.
>
> After walking through the entire PC 3D graphics industry, Sega finally
> found its chip. Fortunately for Sega, the PowerVR Series 2 chip, which
> NEC and VideoLogic had been co-developing for some time, turned out to
> be a most impressive chip for the console, with exciting features such
> as texture compression and deferred rendering. The PowerVR-based
> console was presented to the AM groups who gave it the green light:
> the Dreamcast was born.
>
> 3dfx later sued Sega, NEC and VideoLogic, alleging that Sega
> deliberately mislead 3dfx to gain access to confidential technologies
> before choosing to go with NEC and VideoLogic. 3dfx, Sega, NEC, and
> VideoLogic eventually reached a settlement out of court."
>
> NVIDIA
>
> Changes
> Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, was disappointed by everything that had
> led to the collapse of the Sega deal. As CEO, he remained an active
> participant in meetings and was intimate with the technical decisions
> made at NVIDIA. He knew something had to change.
> The failure of the NV2 prompted Huang to pick up David Kirk as Chief
> Scientist, who had previously been with software developer Crystal
> Dynamics. David Kirk essentially became the Gary Tarolli of NVIDIA,
> and turned NVIDIA around by combining the company's 3D knowledge with
> his game development experience.
>
>
> Success
> NVIDIA was reborn, and after the success of the NV3, or RIVA 128, the
> entire company would quickly discard ties to its blemished past. The
> rest of course, is history.
> In retrospect, considering the magnitude of the failure of the NV2
> it's no surprise that NVIDIA has never publicly disclosed the project.
> Still, the details of this incident only underline how much of a
> transformation NVIDIA has undergone. Five years ago, NVIDIA made
> mistakes that could have killed other companies, and today NVIDIA is a
> leader in its industry with no signs of slowing down. NVIDIA went from
> being a reject for the Sega Pico to the developers of the NV20 and the
> Microsoft Xbox.
>
____________________________________________________________________________
___
>
> full articles can be found here:
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nvidiahistory/defau...
>
> http://www.firingsquad.com/features/nv2/default.asp
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2004 12:22:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"Zackman" <zackman@SPAMISEVILearthling.net> wrote:

>It has less to do with the size of the post and more to do with scrolling
>past 13KB of previously read, twice-quoted text to get to your pithy
>response buried at the bottom.

Exactly, and it's poor posting habits like that that give fuel to the
stupid top posters and their "I don't want to scroll" arguments.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2004 10:02:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia,rec.games.video.sega,alt.games.video.xbox,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote in
news:51488ce2.0406132236.62969e12@posting.google.com:

> found a few old articles on Nvidia's early years. this early time in
> Nvidia's existance is closely tied to Sega.
>
> _______________________________________________________________________
> ________
>
> NVIDIA's Console Chip
>
> NV2
>> Sega funded a significant portion of the research on the NV2 and it is
> reasonable to suggest that NVIDIA might not exist it its capacity
> today if it were not for Sega's support of the NV2.

This is like LucasFilms saying that Pixar wouldn't be the animation
powerhouse it is today if they didn't sell it to Steve Jobs in the
primitive state it was in in 1986 (and they've insinuated as much).
!