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Pyramid 3D Probilems
Initial silicon spins of TR25201 were riddled with bugs, causing a highly distorted image. Timing issues resulted in multiple silicon respins, in an attempt to resolve these problems. When the final version of the chip was developed, TR25204, the issues were solved and a few additional features were included, including a built-in VGA core. Yet it was at this point the real problems developed.
While Pyramid3D was being developed, Tritech was stuck in the middle of ongoing litigation, having been charged with violating an audio patent. With the suitor demanding back royalties, an eventual loss in the case proved fatal for Tritech. Their doors were closed and Pyramid 3D never saw the release that they had worked for years towards.
With this major occurrence, Bitboys again found themselves at square one. They no longer had a chip to release, nor a partner to design it with.
Looking Towards the Future
Late in the development of Pyramid3D, Bitboys had begun working with Tritech on a next generation architecture that would make heavy use of embedded memory. With Tritech’s closure, their partner was gone, yet the concept certainly was not. Thus, on their own, they began the development of their Xtreme Bandwidth Architecture (XBA), and their next-generation chip, Glaze3D.
During this time, Bitboys was actively searching for a partner for synthesis and back-end, contacting the likes of Real3D, Rendition, Creative Labs, ATI, NVIDIA and Diamond Multimedia. Unfortunately, as is often the case, they found the “not created here” attitude that is all too common in the graphics industry. The result of this was a rethinking of Bitboys future partnership and design plans.
Originally, Glaze3D was designed as a high-end chip with 9 MB of embedded DRAM on a 512-bit internal bus. Running at 150 MHz, the original Glaze3D would have provided a fill-rate of 600 Mpixels/sec with dual texturing. Having developed environmental bump mapping, this was an included feature, as was the support for multi-chip solutions.
At this time Bitboys closed its first round of financing and obtained Infineon as its manufacturing partner, with its embedded DRAM technology.
Finnish partnerships run much deeper than those typically found in the US. When two companies become partners, they function very much as a single unit, which can often make it difficult to remember who works for who.