Bitboy's Glaze 3D Canned
9:53 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
If the names BitBoys and Glaze 3D don't instantly ring a bell, don't worry -- they barely registered on the PC world's radar screen either. Thus once-promising startup, which claimed to have plans for a revolutionary 3D chip which would be Mac-compatible, seems to have run out of steam, so to speak, or more precisely -- vapor. The BitBoys became legendary purveyors of vaporware in their time, claiming at one point to have a chip which would run Quake 3 Arena at 300 fps, while the competition at that time could barely make 150. IMG and other Mac news sources were quite thirilled at the time that the Glaze 3D chip was announced, as it was marketed as Mac OS-compatible, at a time when ATI was the sole supplier of 3D chips for the Mac OS.
A report on Thresh's Firing Squad seems to suggest that the Glaze 3D chip is now officially dead. Here's an excerpt:
Firingsquad's sister site Gamers.com got the latest scoop on just what those Bitboys have been up to lately. So, just where is this Glaze 3D wonder-card that was hyped to be able to run Quake3 at 300 fps? Nowhere. The Glaze 3D has been canned.The article goes on to note that they contacted John Carmack, who replied that he never saw any demos of XBA, and does not endorse their product.
The technology, however, is still in development and will be shown to the public when there is actually something to show.
Bitboys' primary focus now is on its "Xtreme Bandwidth Architecture." Few details are known about it, and Bitboys is trying to prove it has learned from the past by not talking. "We've just shut down the PR machine. We're not talking to anyone," Long says, but did add that the chip based on XBA is close to silicon [i.e., production]. "Once that happens, we'll start talking."
What separates an XBA-enabled chip from those on the market today? "[With current chips], gamers have to make constant compromises, [such as] lower resolutions and lower texture detail," Long says. An XBA-enabled chip will let players run their games with at a high resolution with at least 75-100 frames per second, he adds. "[id Software's John] Carmack has seen it. id is behind [XBA]."
We're all eager to see what this XBA technology can really do, since most of our current video cards are bottlenecked by bandwidth. Hopefully the Bitboys can stay on track for a public demo of XBA late in the first quarter/early second quarter this year.
BitBoys Web Site
With the increasing consolidation and razor-thin profit margins of the 3D card industry, the disappearance of such small start-ups was to be expected. Perhaps the XBA technology will make it into the next-generation consoles to come.
FiringSquad on BitBoys' Glaze 3D Chip
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