Naomi 2 Technical Overview
SEGA's incredible Naomi 2, that allows full backwards compatibility with Naomi 1 games, and has the amazing new feature of a very powerful transformation and lighting engine. This will insure that SEGA continues to dominate the arcades with cost effective, and powerful hardware.
SEGA first showed Naomi 2 at the Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association (JAMMA) Fall 2000 arcade show in Tokyo, Japan which took place from September 21st to the 23rd.
It's been two years now since SEGA debuted the original Naomi arcade board at JAMMA Fall 1998, and in that time Naomi has come to dominate the arcade scene with both SEGA and Capcom releasing quite a few games on that hardware.
Naomi 2 Specifications
Graphics Processing Unit (x2)
Note: SEGA listed 2,000 MPixels/sec for the fill rate, and there is no point in listing that here, as that is not realistic. That assumes an overdraw of 10x and no game has that kind of overdraw.
Media: ROM board, optional
Naomi 2 has a dedicated geometry coprocessor to handle transformations and lighting which is rated at 10 million polygons per second with 6 light sources. Note that the T&L processor is not limited to 6 lights, as a maximum of 16 lights per polygon can be achieved, but with a reduction in the polygon rate. The geometry chip will offload all T&L calculations previously performed by the 128-bit matrix math unit on the SH-4. The SH-4 will now be free to devote more of its resources for physics, artificial intelligence, collision detection and overall game code. The hardware T&L unit features combined dynamic and static model processing, and multiple light type support (ambient, parallel, point and spot).
Almost all T&L processors on the market never state what their polygon rate is with the number of light sources present per polygon, and the reason why, is because the polygon rate goes way down with more light sources, with the current T&L processors on the market. T&L should always be rated with number of polygons with number of light sources present. Note: the lighting information for a polygon does not have to be related to a light source, as light information can also be used to make an object look more realistic. Like trying to make plastic look like plastic in a game.
Dual Graphics Chips
Two PowerVR2 (CLX2) GPU's with 32 MB of memory each, which is twice the amount that the PVR2 GPU had on the Naomi 1 board. Each chip renders half the screen (rectangular, stripes, and checker board options), so game textures have to be repeated in both local memory pools, but the display list (infinite plane) data covers only the area of the screen that each GPU has to render.
Hard to determine the exact overall
bandwidth, as SEGA has not released the data path size for the geometry
coprocessor. It most likely would be 32-bits or 64-bits in size, and we
will assume 64-bits to help give us a rough ideal on the overall bandwidth.
If it is only 32-bits, then the final total below would be 400 MB/sec less.
Total overall bandwidth is roughly twice the bandwidth of Naomi 1. Note that the PowerVR GPU's can push the equivalent of 2 to 3 times their bandwidth as compared to a traditional renderer, so that would give the comparative overall bandwidth to be roughly 5 to 6 GigaBytes/sec. Note: I did not include the sound sytem which also has it's own local memory pool.
Naomi 2 shows excellent load balancing between processors and local memory pools. The three most computational tasks for a 3D game is:
It was at the JAMMA Fall 2000 arcade show that SEGA showed off a new distribution method for arcade games, as both the Naomi 1 and Naomi 2 boards allow a daughter board for RAM, and both allow GD-ROM drives to be hooked up. The RAM daughter board holds the game to be played that is spooled off of the GD-ROM. This will help eliminate any load times.
The first games announced for Naomi 2 at the JAMMA Fall 2000 arcade show were:
So far only SEGA has announced Naomi 2 games, and hopefully Capcom will also support this new board, as strongly as they have supported the Naomi 1 board.