In the early morning of September 1, NVIDIA CEO Huang Renxun continued to release new products in the kitchen. The performance of the three RTX 30 series graphics cards released this time exceeds the previous generation flagship products.
The new GPU uses the latest ampere architecture and integrates up to 28 billion transistors. The performance of the RTX 3090 reflects the characteristics of the nuclear bomb. The new products are expected to be on sale in mid-September.
What did it mean to Nvidia 21 years ago?
Before this conference, NVIDIA did enough publicity work. First, John Fenno (NVIDIA Global Marketing Director) published the 21-day countdown feelings blog “Tonight I’m Gonna Game Like It’s 1999!” on the official blog. Play games like in 1999).
In this article reviewing the development of computers and games at the time, it specifically mentioned that “1999 was a crazy year, and every day was wonderful.”
Netizens are also invited to use the hashtag #UltimateCountdown (final countdown) to review the good memories of the past 21 years on various social media.
So what did 1999, 21 years ago, mean to NVIDIA, and need such a grand commemoration?
Kick off the overlord Voodoo2 NVIDIA Riva TNT2 and win 80% of the market
Let’s talk about the year before 1999-in 1998, when Voodoo2, a magic card produced by 3dfx, was released soon, it was booming in the game graphics market.
At that time, a Pentium 2 with two Voodoo2s was simply the top configuration of a gaming computer, similar to today’s advanced civilian configuration such as 9900K+2080Ti.
NVIDIA released Riva TNT (core code name NV4) that year, with the goal of achieving twice the performance of Voodoo2, but it is not yet mature due to the 0.25 micron process, and the overall performance is slightly lower than Voodoo2.
But at this time, NVIDIA realized the importance of the driver and began to write drivers for the Riva TNT series, which was well received with higher frequencies and processes. This was also the famous “Detenator” later.
In April 1999, NVIDIA released Riva TNT2. The detonator driver not only solved the compatibility problem between the graphics card and various platforms, but also increased the performance by 30%.
During the same period, 3fdx released Voodoo3, which was not significantly improved. TNT2 took this opportunity to quickly seize the market. 3dfx also gradually withdrew from the stage due to various complex issues and was eventually acquired by NVIDIA.
The important point of this epoch-making graphics card is to support hardware T&L (coordinate conversion and light source processing).
In games, 3D graphics are realized by complex 3D coordinates and light source change calculations, but ordinary graphics cards do not have T&L functions.
Before the advent of the GPU, this part was processed by the CPU. After GeForce256 supports hardware T&L, the CPU was removed from the heavy computing tasks, which greatly improved the running speed of the game and completely solved the bottleneck of insufficient CPU processing when many games were running at that time.
The GeForce 256 display core is manufactured using a 0.22 micron manufacturing process and is a 256-bit display architecture with 4 pixel pipelines. Each line has 4 pixel units and 1 texture unit.
The triangle generation rate is 15 million per second, and the pixel generation rate is 480 million per second. It has 23 million transistors, which is more than Pentium 3.
Its rendering capabilities far exceed those of the Riva TNT2, ATI Rage 128, 3dfx Voodoo 3 and Matrox Millennium G400 MAX graphics cards of the same level or higher.
From 1999 to the present, in the 21 years, NVIDIA has experienced big and small ups and downs, doubts, peaks, and victories, defeated competitors and seized the market leader.
Today, NVIDIA’s battlefield is not only the game industry, but also extends to areas such as autonomous driving, high-performance computing, medical care, and construction, creating huge commercial success and leading the industry to continue to innovate.
But NVIDIA always remembers that 21 years ago, countless pairs of players staring at the screen and immersed in the game, and the smoothly running game giant, accompanied NVIDIA to reach all the milestones in 1999 and usher in the millennium together.