Dreamcast Technical Pages
Monday, December 22nd, 1997
Windows Magazine Has Article on Windows CE for Saturn 2
One of the better computer magazine publications, Windows Magazine is going to have an article in their current issue about Windows CE for Sega's next generation console. Windows magazine cites their source of information as the Internet. A unnamed source on Microsoft's Windows CE team had this to say: "Just because something's posted on the Internet doesn't mean it's actually going to happen." This source also said: "video games are a natural fit" when commenting on the prospects of Windows CE. The article states that "Sega representatives declined to comment." Here is the press release.
Tuesday, December 9th, 1997
Powerful New Audio Chip From Analog Devices Does 1.23 GOPS
Analog Devices announces the industry's first Microsoft Windows 98-based audio accelerator supporting Intel's AC'97. The chip is called SoundMAX 64 and is designed for motherboards or PCI cards. A very powerful DSP on-chip can accelerate Direct X sound with 1.23 GOPS of processing power. DVD/Dolby Digital playback along with 3D positional sound can be accomplished with this chip. Here is the press release describing the capabilities of this chip in more detail.
Monday, December 8th, 1997
Sega's 'Katana'? 
About a week back there was information on the web that the next generation console from Sega was to be named after a word with 3 syllables in it. There is now reports saying that the name is 'Katana'. Katana in Japanese means sword or blade. When that name becomes official, this site will undergo a name change to: 'Katana Technical Pages'. The picture above shows a Japanese sword called a Dai-Katana.
Friday, December 5th, 1997
One Million SH-4 Units A Month
Hitachi Ltd. has indicated that volume production of the SH-4 embedded processor will commence in July of 1998 and production will be cranked up to one million units a month by the end of 1998. The CPU will be available for sampling this coming January. Manufacturing will be done on a advance design of 0.25 microns, at their Naka fabrication facility in Ibaragi Prefecture. Hitachi should have no problems meeting the huge number of processors needed by Sega for a late 98 introduction of it's next generation game console.
Thursday, December 4th, 1997
Texas Instruments Announces Research Breakthrough Paving the Way to Vastly More Powerful Computer Chips
For the first time anywhere, researchers at Texas Instruments have demonstrated the successful combination of copper wiring with an insulating material called xerogel in an integrated circuit. This breakthrough approach to manufacturing chips will lead to future digital signal processors (DSP) and microprocessors that are at least 10 times faster and use much less power than today's most powerful chips. Here is a copy of the press release.
Wednesday, December 3rd, 1997
C-Cube Unveils World's First Single-Chip MPEG-2 Encoder 
C-Cube Microsystems has created the first processor capable of encoding the MPEG-2 algorithm in real time. DVx is based on a 32-bit embedded RISC CPU that has been optimized for efficient MPEG compression, decompression and video-based special effects. DVx includes a programmable motion estimation coprocessor and a DSP coprocessor that allows the DVx processor to perform 20 billion operations per second. This chip will allow future DVD players the ability to record and allow video editing on PC's. C-Cube expects products based on this chip to be released this quarter. Click here to read the architecture press release!
Tuesday, December 2nd, 1997
Highlander 100 Mpixels Per Second Deferred Rendering
The 2nd generation PowerVR architecture chip from NEC/Videologic is expected to do a incredible 100 Mpixels per second of deferred rendering. Deferred rendering allows the Highlander chip to perform at a equivalent rate of 200 to 300 Mpixels per second as compared to other graphic chips. Most other graphic chips waste a lot of bandwidth rendering areas in the background that will not be seen because of other objects in the scene that will be rendered over it. The PowerVR architecture avoids this with its infinite plane and deferred texturing design. The latest reports indicate that the Highlander chip is performing at a level of 5 times greater than the current PCX2 chip. The chip is expected to run at 100 Mhz and include these 3D features: bump mapping, edge anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, bi-linear and tri-linear filtering, specular highlighting and texture compression. Highlander is to include 2D and sound functionality along with the 3D features. It is expected in the 1st Quarter of 98.
Monday, December 1st, 1997
Consumer Digital Subscriber Line (CDSL)
Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, the world's leading supplier of chipsets for modems, has developed 1-Mbps (megabits per second) digital modem technology which matches conventional analog modems in price and simplicity. 1-Mbps versus maximum current modem speeds of 56-Kbps means that this new technology is roughly 18 times faster. CDSL is similar to ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), which is a faster but a more expensive modem technology. CDSL will probably gain the advantage due to lower costs resulting from it's slower speed then ADSL. Rockwell expects that product and service rollouts for its new technology could begin as early as the second half of 1998.