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Bitboys has long been a mystery within the graphics industry. Many consider them a joke, few are loyal followers. Yet behind all of this a real company exists. They are, without question, a company of truly dedicated people who strongly desire to do something good. How do I know this? I used to work for them. For nearly a year I was employed at their Dallas office, until shortly before it was ultimately closed down. This experience has provided me with a sufficient amount of insight in the company and its history to relate the real story behind Bitboys.
Bitboys history goes back to the days of a group known as Future Crew. Future Crew made a name for themselves in the 3D technology demo development, notorious for pushing computer graphics capabilities to the max. From this group, a number of small companies developed, and amongst them Bitboys was founded in 1991. Much would happen over their lifetime, bringing them from the original two founders to what they are today.
The Early Days
Bitboys’ first few years of existence were comprised of traditional software development for local companies, sustaining themselves for growth. This proved extremely boring for them, to say the least, but doing so provided the necessary funds for company growth. During this time, Bitboys continued work in the background on their true love, 3D graphics.
During 1993 Future Crew developed Second Reality, a 3D technology demo. This demo brought them to the realization that existing graphics hardware could not deliver the necessary functionality and performance. For example, one issue they saw was the lack of functionality in hardware’s blitting and line drawing. Thus, Bitboys set out their own development of a graphics processor.
During ’93 and ’94, Bitboys began extensive research into 3D hardware. By early 1995, they had teamed up with Finnish silicon company VLSI Solutions to develop a complete graphics processor. VLSI, in turn, introduced Bitboys to Tritech. Thus, VLSI and Bitboys worked together in developing TR25201 for Tritech. This brought up successive chips, TR25202, TR25203 and TR25204.
24-bit Z + 1-bit stencil
32-bit SD/SG/EDO DRAM
800 MB/sec Memory Bandwidth
Loopback for single pass multi-texturing
1 Million Vertex/sec T&L Engine
Hardware Bump Mapping
200 MHz RAMDAC