On November 2, 1999, Nvidia announced a new product to the world of 3D acceleration. Wait, wasn't it just recently that they unveiled their next-generation chip(set), the GeForce 256? Well, let's hear it for concurrent development. The new product, called Quadro, is targeted towards the high end PC workstation market, and Nvidia has some bold claims as to the power and prowess of this new competitor and new market.
As most of us have heard, the GeForce 256 is Nvidia's new generation of 3D accelerator. Combined onto a single chip are the rasterization, transform, and lighting engines needed to process an entire 3D scene. In short, the revolutionary aspect of GeForce 256 is the ability to process the entire 3D pipeline internally, without additional processing from the host CPU.
All work and no play?
So what's being brought to the table with Quadro, then? And why is it being developed for the high end workstation market, when everybody knows that the innovation and hot competitive market squarely sits in the real-time consumer 3D realm? And what does it mean to me? Here's a bit from Nvidia's press release to whet your appetite:
"Leveraging over 500 man years of 3D expertise, NVIDIA™ Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced the QuadroTM workstation GPU, the newest member of the company's performance-leading family of award-winning graphics processors. Based on NVIDIA's revolutionary single-chip integrated QuadEngineTM transform and lighting architecture, the Quadro is targeted for the digital content creation and MCAD design markets."
We got ahold of Derek Perez, PR Manager for Nvidia, and Tony Tomasi, product manager to answer a few questions about Quadro for us, and to see if it might be something that would interest the hardcore gamer.