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ARK Logic 8800 Cougar 3D

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(this chipset potentially never released, but the 1999 announcement details are below)

The ARK 8800 Cougar 3D graphics accelerator is a follow-on product to the ARK 8100 Tiger accelerator and is the latest product to be offered in the Big Cat family. The Cougar 3D is a fully integrated single chip device, incorporating ARK Logic’s superior 2D graphics and video acceleration.

The Cougar 3D implements a multi-stage 3D pipeline to assist in the balancing of visual quality and application performance by providing a 3D solution with high fill rates and frame rates. The Interleaved Texture Architecture (ITAX) provides a scalable texture memory solution that can be precisely matched to the end user’s graphics needs. It enables high frame rates with excellent visual quality for both today’s entertainment and business applications. A unique advantage of this architecture is that system memory is never used to provide the high-level texture support.

The Cougar 3D competes very well to other devices and add-in boards in its class. When using the popular Winbench 3D test suite, the Cougar 3D performs on a par with the ATI Rage Turbo and the Intel i740. ITAX also simplifies the system interface issue, as local texture memory provides performance beyond what a 2x AGP port can offer. Further, the ITAX memory architecture provides for better image quality without any reduction in performance.

The Cougar 3D combine’s 2D-3D graphics, full video acceleration and a choice of PCI or AGP interfaces in a single, compact 272 PBGA package. The 3D engine is capable of displaying a fully shaded, trilinear filtered, texture mapped, perspective corrected and Z buffered texel in a single clock cycle. Fill rates are over 110 million pixels per second and are supplied by a 1.7 million-polygon/second setup engine which implements a vertex cache to maintain maximum throughput.

Cougar 3D integrates a 250MHz RAMDAC, 110 MHz memory clock and a video accelerator which supports multiple hardware selected video windows. The device is fully compliant with PCI 2.1 and AGP 1.0 bus standards. The Video Peripheral Interface on Cougar 3D provides a VMI compatible bus for simultaneous input/output of video to support external TV tuners, complete DVD decoding solutions and output to high quality TV/Video encoders.

ARK Logic provides enhanced Direct 3D drivers to its customers that are designed to maximize the multimedia processing performance of the ARK 8800. Cougar 3D will also be offering an OpenGL driver set for Quake and other OpenGL based games, a definite first for products in this category.

See Also