The 3DFX - SEGA "Black Belt" dreamcast thread.

Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by ASSEMbler, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. madhatter256

    madhatter256 Illustrious Member

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    Very close. Its from July 1997.
     
  2. GigaDrive

    GigaDrive Enthusiastic Member

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    thanks for the correction Madhatter, i thought it was spring 1997 but it was summer. probably written up in May or early June though.
     
  3. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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    Anyone have this in a good scan so I can put up a pdf on it?

    Bump. Anyone care if these are sticky or not?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2012
  4. Blur2040

    Blur2040 Game Genie

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    I think it's a good topic...but information doesn't exactly show up that often.
     
  5. palese

    palese Guest

  6. bnwim

    bnwim am I here? ¬¬

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



    Contacts: (Editorial Contact) (Investor Relations)

    Chris Kramer Laura Onopchenko

    3Dfx Interactive, Inc. 3Dfx Interactive, Inc.

    408/935-4322 408/935-4312

    chrisk@3dfx.com onopchenko@3dfx.com

    http://www.3dfx.com


    3DFX INTERACTIVE ANNOUNCES THAT SEGA ENTERPRISES LTD. HAS TERMINATED THE CONTRACT FOR 3D GRAPHICS PROCESSOR




    SAN JOSE, Calif -- July 22, 1997 -- 3Dfx Interactive has learned from Sega Enterprises LTD. today that Sega will not use the 3Dfx 3D graphics processing chipset for the next generation Sega home gaming console.

    This announcement comes despite an existing contract for 3Dfx Interactive to develop the 3D graphics engine for Sega's next video game system.

    ``We are disappointed with this notification, and believe that it is without legal justification,'' said Greg Ballard, President and CEO, 3Dfx Interactive. ``However, it is important to remember that Sega is only a fraction of our business, representing less than 10 percent of our projected 1998 revenue. Our base business of selling 3D accelerator chips into the PC market remains strong and is even strengthening. We will release our earnings after the market closes on Thursday, July 24, and anticipate that they will be consistent with analysts' expectations. In addition, the rest of 1997 already looks to be very positive.''

    3Dfx Interactive has been working under contract with Sega since March of this year to develop and license a proprietary chipset for use in the new Sega game console. Sega has an equity investment of nearly $2 million in 3Dfx Interactive, and has funded development of the chipset to date.

    3Dfx Interactive believes that, under the terms of its contract with Sega, this decision by Sega requires the Company to explore its options, including legal recourse.

    3Dfx Interactive, a publicly traded company (NASDAQ:TDFX ), develops high performance, cost-effective 3D media processors, software and related technology that are designed to enable a highly immersive, interactive and realistic 3D experience across the three primary interactive electronic entertainment platforms -- the personal computer, the home game console and the coin-operated arcade system -- as well as location-based entertainment ("LBE") systems. Current 3Dfx Interactive products include the Voodoo family of accelerator chipsets, Voodoo Graphics and Voodoo Rush.

    Note to Editors: This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations. A wide variety of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially. These include, but are not limited to, the growth rate of the interactive electronic entertainment industry and the related requirements for graphics systems, continued demand and market acceptance for the company's existing products, new product announcements or product introductions by the company's competitors and other competitive pressures, as well as 3Dfx Interactive's continued ability to develop and successfully market new products. Additional risks are described in the company's SEC report on Form S-1. This document is available upon request to the Company's Investor Relations Department and is posted on the SEC's home page on the World Wide Web.
    3Dfx Interactive, Voodoo Graphics and Voodoo Rush are trademarks of 3Dfx Interactive.




    ###

    Sega Withholds Black Belt Announcement

    Sega has decided against showing its new hardware hand this early in the game.

    [size=-1]April 5, 1997

    [/size] While both Microsoft and Sega were expected to make announcements regarding their roles in a new system, Black Belt, Sega has decided to hold back its announcement.
    Both companies know that leaks have revealed much of what current plans are, but Sega and Microsoft will be waiting before officially admitting the existence of the top secret hardware. It seems that the majority of Saturn owners are not pleased at the prospect of new hardware and the announcement of such a system is likely to `spook the horses' in terms of future Saturn sales.

    To recap what is currently known of the system (which is still being designed), it will have:

    - A 3DFx-based graphics sub-system
    - 16MB general RAM
    - 2-8MB texture RAM
    - A Microsoft OS likely to be some form of DirectX as a part of its `arcade initiative'


    The hardware design is being conducted in the US by both Sega and SegaSoft and does not include perennial hardware partner Lockheed Martin. Internal teams are already working on three games including Virtua Fighter 3, a soccer game and a basketball game. Third parties should be receiving development kits as early is the first quarter of 1998, with an ambitious Japanese release scheduled for Christmas 1998. The US isn't expected to see the system until mid-1999.


    Black Belt CPU Comparison

    There are currently two processors being considered for the CPU of Black Belt.

    [size=-1]May 2, 1997

    [/size]The PowerPC 603e and the Hitachi SH4 are currently the two processors under consideration by Sega for use in Black Belt. Both processors are extremely good at floating point calculations.

    PowerPC 603e

    Specification

    16-Kbyte instruction and 16-Kbyte data caches
    Superscalar--3 instructions per clock cycle
    On-chip power management
    32/64-bit data bus mode
    Fully JTAG-compliant Performance

    166 MHz
    SPECint95* 3.9 (1) - 4.5 (2)
    SPECfp95* 2.5 (1) - 3.3 (2)


    200 MHz
    SPECint95* 4.4 (1) - 5.1 (3)
    SPECfp95* 2.8 (1) - 3.7 (3)


    240 MHz
    SPECint95* 4.9 (1) - 6.3 (3)
    SPECfp95* 3.1 (1) - 4.6 (3)


    *Estimated performance.
    (1) 66 MHz Bus, L2 - 512 KB, 70 ns DRAM
    (2) 66 MHz Bus, L2 - 1 MB, 60 ns DRAM
    (3) 66 MHz Bus, L2 - 1 MB, SDRAM



    Hitachi SH-4

    While the SH-4 is not yet in production, it was initially announced at the Microprocessor Forum in October of 1996. Hitachi announced that it would have first silicon in the first quarter of 1997 with production beginning late in the second quarter of 1997.

    The design of the SH-4 itself lends itself well to generation of 3D graphics. Current specifications are:

    200MHz
    360 Dhrystone v1.1 MIPS
    2-way superscalar
    32-bit integer, 64-bit floating point
    8Kbyte instruction cache, 16Kbyte data cache
    5 stage pipeline
    floating-point unit that can do the following:



    • scalar product in 3 cycles, fully pipelined (single-precision floating point) using just 1 instruction
    • matrix transform in 7 cycles, partially pipelined, single- precision floating point, using 1 instruction. That's 16 multiplies and 12 additions, all single-precision fp, in 1 instruction.
    208 or 256-pin package


    1.8 Watts worst-case power consumption
    Even at the processor's initial announcement last October, certain magazines were already considering the possibility of its use in the next Sega console. According to the October 28th issue of Microprocessor Report: "The new core seems likely to appear in videogames, possibly from Sega, but it may not debut until 1998." Such predictions are looking more and more possible considering the proposed timing of Black Belt.

    Prices have not yet been announced for the Hitachi chip yet, but it is expected to be the cheaper of the two possible solutions before Sega right now. As it stands now, Sega has still not made a decision as yet upon which processor to use as its CPU.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2012
  7. Paulo

    Paulo PoeticHalo

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    Nice info!

    Have you got a source for all of these?
     
  8. bnwim

    bnwim am I here? ¬¬

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    The Real Dural Specs

    [size=-1]September 17, 1997[/size]

    Coming straight from developer documentation and manuals



    Dural. And super-console is definitely what it is. With blistering technology and incredible features, it looks like it'll make Sony and Nintendo's current game systems look flaccid by comparison. While these specifications aren't massively different from what Next Generation Online has reported in the past, they are the current definitive stats as far as the developer manuals specify. Dural, AKA Black Belt and Dragon (which actually refers to the Microsoft Windows CE OS), is an incredible piece of gaming technology that Sega have provisionally set for a Fall `98 release. But this is very dependent on the delivery of killer app software that is required to clearly demonstrate Dural as a quantum leap in gaming technology. We have seen many times in the past that superior technology alone is not enough to seduce consumers - it's games that maketh a system.

    The machine has been developed by Sega in conjunction with a variety of big-name partners. Biggest of all has to be Microsoft, who are creating the WinCE Operating System which will allegedly make the Dural easy to use and allow for the development of non-gaming utilities. Certainly, a decent, intuitive operating system would be a first for a games machine, and with a modem, keyboard and mouse also in development, it's clear that Dural isn't just going to be a pure gaming machine. Three other partners are also involved in the hardware development - Hitachi, NEC and Yamaha who are supplying the Dural's SH-4 CPU, PowerVR2 graphics chip and ARM7 sound chip respectively.


    UNDER THE HOOD

    HITACHI SH-4 CPU

    While the SH-4 is not yet in production, it was initially announced at the Microprocessor Forum in October of 1996. Hitachi announced that it would have first silicon in the first quarter of 1997 with production beginning late in the second quarter of 1997.

    The design of the SH-4 itself lends itself well to generation of 3D graphics. Current specifications are:


    - 200MHz
    - 360 Dhrystone v1.1 MIPS
    - 2-way superscalar
    - 32-bit integer, 64-bit floating point
    - 8Kbyte instruction cache, 16Kbyte data cache
    - 5 stage pipeline
    - floating-point unit that can do the following:
    - scalar product in 3 cycles, fully pipelined (single-precision floating point) using just 1 instruction matrix transform in 7 cycles, partially pipelined, single-precision floating point, using 1 instruction. That's 16 multiplies and 12 additions, all single-precision fp, in 1 instruction.
    - 208 or 256-pin package
    - 1.8 Watts worst-case power consumption

    Even at the processor's initial announcement last October, certain magazines were already considering the possibility of its use in the next Sega console. According to the October 28th issue of Microprocessor Report: "The new core seems likely to appear in videogames, possibly from Sega, but it may not debut until 1998." Such predictions are looking more and more possible considering the proposed timing of Black Belt.

    GRAPHICS

    If the SH-4 is the heart of the system, the PowerVR2 graphics chip are the lungs. With a screen-blistering 1.5 million polygons per second and with mip-mapping, texture filtering and hardware fogging, light and shadow, the PowerVR2 (otherwise known as Highlander) is capable of delivering incredible quality visuals. While these specs on the surface would indicate greater than Model 3 performance, rendering quality isn't expected to be as high as the expensive arcade board despite the impressive specs.

    On an interesting technical note, the PowerVR chip supports both Open GL and D3D, which will apparently make ports to and from the PC relatively straightforward.

    SOUND

    A Yamaha audio ASIC will be used based upon the ARM 7 core (who licensed the technology from Advanced RISC Machines for exactly these sort of applications). Yamaha's version of the ARM7 is a small, but noisy beast capable of singing in 64 simultaneous voices (think of the potential - a full choral version of the Daytona soundtrack). It also sports a plethora of DSP effects that promise to make games sound as good as they look.

    The base ARM7 chip uses 36,000 transistors and runs at a 45MHz clock speed pulling an average of 40 MIPs.

    MEDIA

    Dural is a CD-based games system, and Sega is utilizing a rather unusual Yamaha CD drive to this end. Running at 12x speed, Dural's CD-ROM features dual density capability that allows games to be delivered on either regular density CD's, Dural-specific 1 Gig super-density dics or both.

    MODEM

    Dural will definitely feature modem capability in the form of a card (possibly similar to PCMCIA specifications), but it is unclear at present whether or not this will come standard, or will be available as an add-on. Speeds being considered for the modem were not specified in the developer manuals. If Sega are serious about making this a truly next generation multimedia/gaming machine, we feel it should definitely come standard.

    DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS

    The Dural development system exists in rudimentary form at present, but developers will be receiving updated chips and kits over the course of several phases during the next five months to create a complete and final development kit by February `98. The final SDK is expected to be completed late spring of `98.

    However, with only a year to go until the system hits the streets, it seems that developers will have their work cut out to create games for launch. Obviously, we'll keep you updated on this.

    SUMMARY SPECS:

    CPU: Hitachi SH-4 200 MHz CPU
    GRAPHICS CHIP: PowerVR2 (Highlander)
    SOUND CHIP: Yamaha ARM7-based ASIC
    MAIN RAM: 8 Megabytes
    VIDEO/TEXTURE RAM: 8 Megabytes
    AUDIO RAM: 2 Megabytes
    CACHES: 8k instruction/16k data/128K CD ROM buffer
    MODEM: Modem card (possibly PCMCIA based)
    OUTPUT: VGA and 640x240 anti-aliased RF
    CD ROM: Custom dual format


    Yes, the Wayback Machine ;-)


    Examples from 3dfx.com:

    January 27, 1998 - Court Enters Injunction Against Sega

    September 2, 1997 - 3Dfx Interactive Files Lawsuit Against Sega Enterprises, Sega of America and NEC Corporation.

    July 23, 1997 - 3Dfx Interactive Announces That Sega Enterprises Ltd. Has Terminated the Contract for 3D Graphics Processor

    etc, etc ....


    There are a lot of info at old websites, but some links doesn´t work
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2012
  9. Paulo

    Paulo PoeticHalo

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    Ah thats good cos not seen any of these before! Nice to have them on an official website.
     
  10. GigaDrive

    GigaDrive Enthusiastic Member

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    thanks for posting this one! I remember it
     
  11. GigaDrive

    GigaDrive Enthusiastic Member

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    http://217.158.191.134/pma/10112 from Totalgames.net link broken.


     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  12. PrOfUnD Darkness

    PrOfUnD Darkness Familiar Face

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    Great read! SEGA's history after 1994 is very confusing. You can see SEGA lost theirs focus:
    Partership with 3DFX, Nvidia, Matsushita, almost merging with Bandai...

    It's a piitty for a great company :(
     
  13. BLUamnEsiac

    BLUamnEsiac ɐɹnɔsqO ʇᴉq-8

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    There was mention of PowerVR and Sega's next console (Dreamcast) in GamePro's May 1998 issue.
    GamePro(May1998)SaturnGoingGoingGoneThumb.jpg
     
  14. la-li-lu-le-lo

    la-li-lu-le-lo ラリルレロ

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    I often think that if conditions had been just a little bit different in the late 90s, a different graphics company would have come out on top, and that would have had huge consequences on the graphics technology being used today. For example, I think if that company had been Real3D, we would be 5 or 6 years ahead of where we are now. If it had been 3Dfx... well, not really sure about that one.
     
  15. LeGIt

    LeGIt I'm a cunt or so I'm told :P<BR><B>Site Supporter

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    Not sure what any of the above geForce vs VooDoo drama has to do with the Sega Black Belt though... > hits delete
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012

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