X-Box and New Markets
FiringSquad: When did 3dfx begin talks with GigaPixel? Were there any other companies interested in buying GigaPixel?
Bubba: As was discussed in the Q & A you guys listened to, these negotiations began as a licensing discussion and then became acquisition dialogue about a month ago.
FiringSquad: What new technology does GigaPixel bring to 3dfx? Why are you calling it a "disruptive" 3d technology?
Bubba: It is a "disruptive" technology in that it dramatically reduces the memory bandwidth and power requirements to render very high quality 3D. Just as the competitive landscape changed in the graphics business with the transition from 2D to 3D, we believe the market is about to enter another transitory period where some vendors will figure out how to really take 3D to the next step while other vendors will not. With this acquisition, we intend to take the lead and bring to market products which fundamentally change the way 3D is rendered - products that will offer substantially better performance, image quality, and more features than our competition.
FiringSquad: GigaPixel won and then lost the X-Box to NVIDIA. It's also rumored that Microsoft also chose Intel over AMD the day before the X-Box announcement. Given Microsoft's fickle nature, do you think the new 3dfx/GigaPixel team will have a chance at taking back the X-Box?
Bubba: I don't think it's our place to speculate on Microsoft's future actions or decisions. You'll need to ask them.
FiringSquad: This might be a moot point, but we're curious. GigaPixel is an IP(intellectual property) company. Who would have made the chips had GigaPixel won the X-Box? Would GigaPixel have kept the project entirely in-house and had a foundry such as TSMC make the chips?
Bubba: Sorry, we cannot comment on any of the agreements GigaPixel had with Microsoft relative to X-Box. All of those agreements are under NDA between GigaPixel and Microsoft.
FiringSquad: CEO Dr. Alex Leupp has already stated that 3dfx intends to target the cell phone, PDA (personal digital assistant), set-top box, and internet appliance markets. Does this mean that 3dfx is starting to move away form the PC 3D industry, or is the company just trying to leverage its 3D expertise into promising new markets?
Bubba: We are looking to position ourselves into new markets. We have too much expertise and experience to just sit in the PC market now. But make no mistake - the PC is still going to be, far and away, our number one, top priority market. We simply want to become the market leader in the 3D graphics in all markets. The acquisition allows us to do just that. This is going to be an exciting time for 3dfx.
FiringSquad: How will the GigaPixel acquisition help 3dfx enter the consumer electronics market?
Bubba: Gigapixel has an architecture which is both very memory efficient and power efficient. Literally for the first time, we can now take 3D technology into devices which prior could not afford, either power-wise or memory bandwidth-wise, to utilize 3D rendering. It is going to be very exciting what we can do in the consumer electronics market!