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I originally thought that I will be waiting for my lifetime for BitBoys to make an announcement of their long-awaited graphics chip and showcasing it somewhere and somehow. Well, it took the company just about eleven years to lay their cards on the table and tell everyone in this industry that they have no intentions to build and distribute the hardware, but only desire to develop and license it.

Today BitBoys Oy announced restructuring the organisation to pure-play R&D lab, with shutting down their Dallas office. The company also revealed its Axe GPU and vector graphics core today. The former will never see the light of the day and the latter may be used in mobile and handheld devices.

For all of those who was waiting about five years for the Glaze3D to arrive, here are the brief and final specifications of the Axe graphics processor:

  • Four rendering pipelines with two TMUs per each;
  • DirectX 8.1 and OpenGL 1.3 support, hardware Vertex Shaders support;
  • 12MB of Embedded DRAM memory and up to 128MB of external SDRAM;
  • A dual-channel video image output, with a mix of analogue or digital RGBA monitor, TV or digital flat-panel display;
  • AGP 2x/4x;
A prototype chip has been manufactured by Infineon Technologies on their 0.17 micron embedded DRAM process. As Infineon has closed down its embedded DRAM fabrication line, Bitboys will not bring Axe to the PC desktop market.

The second device that was unveiled is a vector graphics core. According to BitBoys, this tiny vector graphics core is capable of rendering colourful vector- and 3D graphics. Such kind of device may be used in numerous environments that require low price and low power consumption, in mobile phones and PDAs, for example. The graphics core and the software for it fully support the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) standard and content. The core provides a solution for rendering complex and curved polygons with transparency, precise colour processing and surface texturing. Performance is scalable, full anti-aliasing is provided together with fluid animation.

To sum up, we will never see a graphics cards based on a chip from BitBoys, but we may still witness their technologies in a lot of handheld devices. The time will reveal if we do, though.


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