Here is information on the company that was 3dfx (last updated 2/19/02).

The Past
Since the introduction of 3D cards like Diamond Monster 3D or Orchid Righteous 3D, Voodoo has become a familiar name associated with 3D cards and games. These cards were based on 3dfx's original Voodoo chipsets. They were a run-away hit eventhough prices were initially steep simply because they were able to change the gaming world by providing visually enticing 3D effects based on their proprietary Glide API. This brought about a new perspective to games at a time when gamers were glued to 2D games such as Command and Conquer or Warcraft. Prior to Voodoo's release, there were also cards like the Canopus Pure-3D which was based on the Rendition V-1000 chipset. However, it offered only a limited set of 3D effects.

In the past, games did not really use any 3D effects and these chipset vendors had to persuade game developers to rewrite part of their games with 3D enhancements so as to demonstrate the differences when using their 3D-cards. The result was that only a handful of games were able to take advantage of these new 3D-only add-on cards and most of such games were bundled together with the card. This made it easy for buyers to immediately play with their new toys without the need to hunt for appropriate games that utilise 3D effects since such games were scarce.

3dfx developed their own 3D API that was proprietary to their chipset, so that games written around their API would work to their full potential. The Voodoo chipset itself was the only 3D card that supported a full set of 3D instructions that allowed games to be really '3D-like' unlike the previous generations of 3D add-on cards and games. Not only that, 3dfx worked on marketing their new API to game developers even before they had a working prototype to test. As a result, they had a hard time convincing developers. However, they did managed to interest a few to invest in their new product. Finally, 3dfx was able to unveil a prototype and that further helped to gain more support from game developers.

It was clear that cards based on the Voodoo technology were what game developers needed to boost development of 3D games and to break off from the traditional gaming genre. And the rest, as you can say was history. Following the success of Voodoo, 3dfx unveiled the Voodoo2 with SLI technology. SLI allows one to combine two Voodoo2 cards to boost 3D game performance by doubling the processing power. In an SLI setup, one of the cards will render even-frame lines while the other renders odd-frame lines.

Voodoo3 was 3dfx's next offering and it was their first self manufactured video card after acquiring STB. The original plan was to release the first version of Rampage now, but all the features were not finished, so the Voodoo3 was released instead. It was also their first real gaming video-card with a built-in 2D-engine. Although the Banshee was really the first, but it was not their mainstream as Voodoo2 was still faster. The Banshee was an intermediate product which led 3dfx to Voodoo3 and was targeted at budget users. The Voodoo3 was an attractive product as it lends support for all the three major 3D APIs (Microsoft Direct3D, OpenGL and 3dfx's proprietary Glide) in the core and drivers.

Up till Voodoo3's release, 3dfx had the upper hand in the gaming video-card market. When Voodoo3 was released, it was a little late and there were supply problems due to chipset shortages, especially for the higher clock speed Voodoo3-3500. That was not the main problem. The chipset features paled in comparison to nVidia's TNT and TNT2 series. It was limited to only 16-bit colour depth and 256 x 256 texture sizes (which was quite small in comparison with the 2048 x 2048 texture support offered by the TNT2 series, though it was somewhat adequate at that time). There were also no support for AGP-texturing with a limited support of up to 16MB of SDRAM graphics memory. On the other hand, nVidia's TNT and TNT2 series offered 32-bit colour and rendering, 2048 x 2048 texture support, memory scaling up to 32MB, AGP 4X support and the ability to render 2 single textured pixels per clock (Voodoo3 could only render 1 single textured pixel per clock cycle). People would rather choose slow 32-bit, than fast 16-bit.

Having said that, the Voodoo3 series were still pretty fast at that time, with the fastest consumer gaming card being the Voodoo3-3000 (although the 3500 is faster but it comes with a TV-tuner, video capturing and a video hub which made it more suited for multimedia than gaming). The Voodoo3 consistently matched the TNT2-Ultra's performance and was even slightly faster at certain benchmarks. Although 16 and 32-bit colour rendered games weren't normally noticable, but for games that were optimised for 32-bit colours, the difference was obvious. Even so, the difference wasn't a world apart! However, the sad fact is that although the Voodoo3 ran at its maximum colour depth of 16-bits, in terms of quality, it was poorer than a TNT2 at 32-bit, even with the Voodoo3's 22-bit post filter.

Less than a year ago, nVidia crushed 3dfx in sales with the GeForce 256 running on SDRAM and shortly after that, they released the faster GeForce version with DDR-SDRAM support. This was due to the fact that memory bandwidth was the limiting factor in its performance. 3dfx was somewhat devastated by these cards as they did not have any product that performed as well as the GeForce. However, they secretly carried on with the 'Napalm' project. Thanks to the high prices of the new GeForce cards, the Voodoo3 series continued to be a popular choice for those who needed an economical upgrade to their video subsystem. The GeForce not only brought a new level of performance, but also a new generation of video-cards based on an integrated Transformation and Lighting (T&L) engine. nVidia, has by now, made a name for itself as a supplier of high-performance graphics processors for the gaming market.

nVidia again then launched a follow up to their successful GeForce, the GeForce2. This new chipset is based on the same core as the GeForce, but with an increase in core speed as well as a shrink in the die. Sad to say that at this point, 3dfx is already behind nVidia by three product cycles.

The long awaited day came in late June 2000, when 'Napalm' was finally ready and would show itself to the world. 3dfx made sure it had all the shortcomings of its Voodoo3 series fixed as well as adding other revolutionary features, such as Full Screen Anti Aliasing (FSAA). 3dfx also introduced their new proprietary T-Buffer which aid the FSAA feature in addition to the T-Buffer Cinematic effects that comprised of Motion Blur, Soft Shadows, Soft Reflections and Depth of Field Focus. These new features were all packed into the new 3dfx VSA-100 chipset.

VSA is the acronym for Voodoo Scalable Architecture and this is 3dfx's key to its Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 series with the ability to work in a multiple chipset configuration. The Voodoo4 would use only one VSA-100 chip with a maximum of 32MB SDRAM and FSAA limited to 2-sub samples. On the other hand, the Voodoo5 series uses 2 or more chipsets in SLI configuration with a maximum of 128MB SDRAM and FSAA up to 4-sub samples. The first card that came into the market was the Voodoo5-5500 which utilises two VSA-100 chipsets and 64MB SDRAM. Since 3dfx has some supply shortages with these new VSA-100 chipsets, the low-end Voodoo4 and high-end Voodoo5-6000 won't show up in the stores yet. Fortunately, the Voodoo5-5500 is a fairly powerful board that commands a premium price which is still within the budget of high-end gamers.

At the same time, their competitor moved quickly with the introduction of yet another sure-winner(in sales) chipset, the GeForce2 MX. This is another mainstream video-card that has its performance in between the GeForce and GeForce DDR. It utilises the newer GeForce2 chipset but with a little crippling, such as 2 rendering pipelines instead of 4 and supports only 128-bit SDRAM or 64-bit DDR memory channel. In order to make the GeForce2 MX more attractive, it even has dual-monitor support, just like the Matrox DualHead feature.

We must never forget the other players such as ATI, as they too introduced their Radeon chipset. This left 3dfx in a vulnerable position as they will lose their market share if they do not begin shipping their full product line up for low-end and high-end gamers (Voodoo4 and Voodoo5-6000 respectively).

Later that year, on December 15, 2000, a day known as "Black Friday", this announcement was made:

"Santa Clara, CA – December 15, 2000 – NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain graphics related assets of 3dfx Interactive (Nasdaq: TDFX), a pioneer and a recognized leader in graphics technology. These graphics related assets include, but are not limited to, patents, pending patent applications, trademarks, brand names, and chip inventory related to the graphics business of 3dfx. In addition, 3dfx and NVIDIA have agreed to stay the patent infringement litigation between them through the closing of the transaction, at which time it will be jointly dismissed with prejudice.

Under the terms of the agreement, NVIDIA will pay to 3dfx a total consideration of $70 million in cash and 1 million shares of common stock. The asset acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to 3dfx shareholder approval, the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions. This acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of NVIDIA's fiscal year 2002.

Founded in 1994, 3dfx was an early pioneer in the 3D graphics industry and has been recognized for its ability to bring some of the world's finest games, educational content, interactive entertainment and media-rich business applications to life.

NVIDIA executives will conduct a conference call on Monday, December 18, 2000 at 7:00AM, Pacific Time. The conference call number is 212-231-6017, reservation number 17310062. A recorded playback of the conference call will be available through Wednesday, December 20, 2000. The call-in number for the replay is 800-633-8284 (US), 858-812-6440 (International), (passcode: 17310062). A live webcast (listen-only mode) of the conference call will be available at; at; and at You must have a compatible media player installed on your computer in order to listen to the webcast. You may download a media player for free at the sites listed above.

About NVIDIA NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), based in Santa Clara, California., is the global leader in advanced graphics and multimedia processing technology for the consumer and professional computing markets. Its 2D, 3D, video and multimedia capabilities make NVIDIA one of the premier semiconductor companies in the world. NVIDIA offers a wide range of products and services, delivering superior performance and crisp visual quality for PC-based applications such as manufacturing, science, e-business, entertainment, and education.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, risks relating to the completion of the contemplated transaction, including the risk that required regulatory clearances or shareholder approval might not be obtained in a timely manner or at all. In addition, statements in this press release relating to the expected benefits of the contemplated transaction are subject to risks relating to the timing and successful completion of technology and product development efforts, integration of the technologies and assets of NVIDIA Corporation and 3dfx Interactive, unanticipated expenditures, changing relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors described in the most recent Form 10-Q, most recent Form 10-K and other periodic reports filed by NVIDIA and 3dfx, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additional Information and Where to find It NVIDIA plans to file a Registration Statement on SEC Form S-4 in connection with the transaction, and NVIDIA and 3dfx expects to mail a Proxy Statement/Prospectus to shareholders of 3dfx containing information about the transaction. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus carefully when they are available. The Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about NVIDIA, 3dfx, the transaction and related matters. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of these documents through the website maintained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at Free copies of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus and these other documents may also be obtained from NVIDIA by directing a request through the Investors Relations portion of NVIDIA's website at or by mail to NVIDIA, 3535 Monroe Street, Santa Clara, CA 95051, attention: Investor Relations, telephone: (408) 615-2500.

In addition to the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus, NVIDIA and 3dfx file annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information filed by NVIDIA or 3dfx at the SEC public reference rooms at 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549 or at any of the Commission's other public reference rooms in New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois. Please call the Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference rooms. NVIDIA's and 3dfx's filings with the Commission are also available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the website maintained by the Commission at

The directors and executive officers of NVIDIA and 3dfx have interests in the transaction, some of which may differ from, or may be in addition to, those of 3dfx's shareholders generally. A description of the interests that NVIDIA's and 3dfx's directors and executive officers have in the transaction will be available in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus. 3dfx will be and certain of its directors, executive officers and other members of 3dfx's management and employees may be soliciting proxies from 3dfx shareholders in favor of the transaction. The directors and officers of NVIDIA may be deemed to be participants in 3dfx's solicitation of proxies. Information concerning the participants will be set forth in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus when its filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

What does all that mean? well, basically 3dfx claimed bankruptcy. The sold all their technology, trademarks, patents, patents pending, copyrights, and many other things to nVidia to pay off thier debts.

The Present
About 100 3dfx employees went on to nVidia. Shortly after the news, a new company made up of the old driver development team was formed called x3dfx. They got the "OK" from nvidia to release the rest of the drivers that they were working on to that point. They later got another "OK" to release a bug fix for that one. Later on, x3dfx disbanded and support was ended on February 19th 2002. That sadly is also the day that went down. As for the driver development team, only 1 of them is now still in the graphics industry.

In late 2001, Windows XP was released. There was no working drivers for this operating system, and the Voodoo users saw nothing but an upgrade in site. Microsoft only delivered drivers that ran terribly slow for DirectX only. The community was able to salvage a fully working DirectX driver formt he Windows 2000 release, so all was not lost. The only problem was OpenGL and Glide. One man, named Hujer Hoe, changed all that though. He released working OpenGL and Glide drivers. Later on, the GlideXP Project came out and fixed all OpenGL crashing bugs. The 3dfx community now had fully working Windows XP drivers.

Right now, pretty much what is left of the diehard 3dfx Zealots are located at the x3dfx forums. Rampage, Daytona, Fear, Sage, Mojo, Fusion, and all other planned 3dfx products would never see the light of day.

The Future
All of the upcoming 3dfx technology, like Rampage, will not be a total waste though. The nv30 from nvidia will be highly 3dfx influenced. Some Rampage technology will be used, some Gigapixel technology, hopefully some 3dfx FSAA, and some more 3dfx technology. The best part of that card will be that ex-3dfx employees worked on it. There are even rumors that so many ex-3dfx employees are working on the nv30, that nVidia employees got mad.

Who knows what the future of 3dfx will be? After a while people will eventually upgrade their cards, but the communities will stay, and everyone will remember the company that revolutionized 3D graphics forever.

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-Much of the "Past" information was obtained from a website somewhere. I'm sorry, but I forgot where it is from, and if you know, please email me. The nVidia buyout quote is from

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