NV40 Technology explained
The past 10 years of developing dedicated 3D-acceleration hardware for the consumer market brought us milestones like Voodoo Graphics, GeForce3, and Radeon 9700. Still, computer generated realtime graphics looks very "synthetic": Surfaces appear too smooth, the geometry resolution is too rough, liquids still do not look natural enough. But we also saw dramatic progress leading to the ultimate goal: Rendering photo-realistic graphics at HDTV resolutions in realtime.
The NV40 is the most advanced GPU available. We invite you to have a look on some aspects. For that reason, our article is split into three parts. Today, we will see how NV40's pipelines work – and why Nvidia designed them this way. Part two will explain how to take full advantage of the pipelines. Part three will discuss Shader Model 3.0 and other features. Let's begin with the road leading to NV40.