NVIDIA's Product Cycle
Since fall 1997 NVIDIA is following a product release schedule that presents a new 3D-card every six months. In spring 1998 it was only the rather uninspiring RIVA128ZX, followed by the delayed RIVA TNT in November of that year. 1999 saw NVIDIA's rise to the top 3D-chip maker, in spring with RIVA TNT2 / TNT2 Ultra and finally with the first 'GPU' by the name 'GeForce256'. The first GeForce release was also the last time that NVIDIA released a new technology in the second half of the calendar year. 2000 saw first GeForce2 and then the beefed up GeForce2 Ultra. This year it will be just the same. In spring NVIDIA presented the first programmable 'GPU', simply named 'GeForce3', and now its time for a faster GeForce3, which won't be called 'ultra', but 'titanium'.
Three Times Titanium - Confusion Or Good Marketing?
I assume that it was intentional to make the 'Titanium'-story a lot more complex than the simple and easily understandable 'Ultra'-idea of previous releases. While an NVIDIA product with the 'ultra'-tag used to be faster than the same product without the 'ultra', the 'Titanium'-tag is NOT a warrant for higher performance. To make that understandable I will make a short list of the three new 'titanium' products.