Nvidia is now introducing a programmable GPU, seven times faster than the previous Geforce 2 Ultra, the NV20.
The chip's performance will depend on the application it is running on. In environments where there are low detail scenes (large triangles, simple geometry, hardly any depth) the NV20 is only twice as fast as the Geforce 2 Ultra. The difference in performance grows however with the complexity of the 3D scene (multitude of small triangles, very complex geometry, a lot of depth).
The anti-aliasing performance of the chip is also said to have increased substantially. Nvidia gives the NV20 a 300 percent increase in performance compared to the Geforce 2 Ultra. The performance of the chip doubles when handling geometrical data. According to Nvidia the NV20 is able to handle one trillion operations and 100 gigaflops (floating-point operations) per second.
The performance increase is achieved through better design, according to the documents: the storage interface is a completely revised version compared with the Geforce 2. Downloading large quantities of geometrical data should now flow substantially faster, according to the documents.
In addition, the NV20 is said to have a ramdac speed of over 500MHz as well as an faster clock rate.
There is a new pixel shading experience for 3D-textures and curved surfaces will cater for a 3D visual quality. The NV20?s gradual fogging effects and per-pixel bump mapping will primarily enable the presentation of even more realistic characters as well as natural effects.
If the specifications and performance statistics highlighted in these confidential documents are proven to be true, Nvidia position as market leader looks set.