In spite of the majority predicting a single sided race in the 3D graphics market because of the demise of 3dfx, quite the opposite is happening.  It is quite clear that NVIDIA’s 6-month product cycles aren’t of much use at this point in time, as they are only competing against themselves at this point.  The GeForce2 Ultra and soon the GeForce3 are the fastest overall 3D graphics accelerators on the market today, yet most consumers aren’t complaining about the performance of their hardware, rather they are looking for software to make use of that hardware. 

Because of this, we are seeing a decreasing emphasis being placed on who can crank out cards the fastest and more of an emphasis on producing and releasing what makes the most sense.  It was NVIDIA’s well-maintained 6-month product cycles that allowed them to drive competitors like 3dfx, Matrox and S3 out of the high-end market.  However today, the rules have changed, it isn’t about driving competitors out of the market, but rather it is about driving technology.  We have seen a similar effort in the CPU market, judging from what we saw at this year’s Spring IDF conference as well as the slowdown in processor releases.  The major producing countries are feeling the effects of a slowing economy, but that does not necessarily mean that technology cannot continue to evolve and develop.

NVIDIA on the defense

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