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Article #45 (64 is last): From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.jaguar.news Subject: 10 Questions About Atari's Jaguar 64-bit (Nov.23,1993) Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Date: Sun Feb 20 01:49:46 1994 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: Volume 2 - Issue 20 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE 23 November 1993 :: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ||| Ten Questions About Jaguar's 64-Bit Technology ||| Courtesy: Atari Corp. / | \ ----------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1. What does 64-bit mean? "64-bit" refers to the amount of data Jaguar can process at one time. Because Jaguar processes data 64 bits at a time - versus 8, 16 and 32 bits for other video game systems - Jaguar delivers unprecedented animation speed, true-color graphics and stereo CD-quality sound. Jaguar is the world's first 64-bit interactive multimedia home entertainment system. 2. What are the main differences players will notice when using 64-bit systems as compared to conventional machines and newer 32-bit systems? The biggest difference players will notice is an enormous increase in the overall speed and smoothness of objects in motion in their video games. Game players will be able to manipulate and respond to game action much more quickly and objects will travel at high animation speed. In addition, players will notice a significant improvement in the appearance of their video games; colors will be brighter and more numerous, graphics will appear clearer and extremely realistic, 3D objects will feature multi-textured surfaces, special effects will be much more sophisticated and games will include true-to-life lighting and shadows. Game realism will also be enhanced by sound effects generated in CD-quality audio. 3. How does Jaguar achieve its 64-bit processing power? Jaguar achieves its processing power through an advanced architecture that features a 64-bit data bus. This bus acts like a 64-lane freeway, permitting data "traffic" to flow 64-bits at a time. Five processors work together to move data through the bus including: 7 The Atari-proprietary 64-bit Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) with RISC technology - responsible for delivering Jaguar's complex 3D graphics at high animation speed 7 The Atari-developed 32-bit Digital Signal Processor - delivers Jaguar's CD and stereo sound capabilities 7 The Object Processor - provides an advanced video environment 7 The Blitter Graphics Accelerator - rapidly manipulates and copies images 7 The 68000 16-bit processor - manages secondary processing functions 4. If Jaguar includes a 16-bit processor, how can it be a true 64-bit system? Jaguar is a true 64-bit system because it moves data through a 64-bit data bus. While it includes a 16-bit processor, this processor plays only a minor role in system performance. This processor acts as a necessary, but less important stage hand - managing minor processing functions, including reading joystick commands and distributing workloads to system components. 5. In video game systems, what is the relationship between processing speed and video graphics? The processing speed of a video game platform has a direct relationship to the quality of video graphics it is capable of generating. When graphics are complex and include many colors, the system needs more power to maintain high-quality animation speeds from cartridge to screen without degradation. Atari Jaguar's 64-bit processing speed allows the system to display more than 16 million colors with an animation speed greater than 850 million pixels per second. This means Jaguar's 3D graphics are very realistic, with bright colors and fast moving action. This performance is significantly better than that of 32-bit machines, which display 16.7 million colors, but are only able to move 64 million pixels per second. In other words, 32-bit systems have just as much traffic as Jaguar, but they are trying to squeeze the same number of colors onto a 32-lane highway instead of a 64-lane freeway. This can result in grainier graphics, fewer colors used and slower animation speed. 6. How has Atari been able to leapfrog 32-bit systems? Atari Corporation has been able to leapfrog 32-bit systems because the company made a commitment to meet the needs of the industry by making a quantum leap to the 64-bit architecture. Atari backed this commitment with resources, including the world's finest engineers and the industry's most experienced management team. This combination of vision, dedication and talent allowed Atari to build Jaguar's proprietary 64-bit hardware and deliver Jaguar to customers while the company's competitors were still struggling to develop and market less powerful products. 7. How is Atari able to offer advanced 64-bit technology at such a competitive price? Jaguar retails for $249 (bundled with one video game), when much less powerful systems are selling for $700 and up. Atari is able to offer the world's most advanced video game system to consumers at such an affordable price because: 7 Atari hires and retains the world's best engineers. This allowed Atari to reduce Jaguar's time-to-market by ensuring the development cycle was efficient and the design was high quality. 7 Atari is the sole investor in Jaguar and thus, operating overhead is much lower than it is for competitive systems in which multiple investors receive a portion of the profits. 7 Atari founded the video game industry and was able to apply more than 20 years of expertise to the cost-efficient development of Jaguar. 8. How do developers benefit from Jaguar's 64-bit processing power? With Jaguar, developers enjoy unsurpassed ease in creating real-time 3D worlds. Because developing games for Jaguar is easier and less time consuming than it is for conventional platforms, developers are able to spend much more time on the creative process. Creatively, Jaguar's 64-bit processing power gives developers the flexibility to create revolutionary video games that are much richer in color, animation, texture and sound than traditional game systems. 9. What will be the industry standard for interactive multimedia performance? Atari's Jaguar has moved ahead of the competition to set the industry standard for interactive multimedia performance. Jaguar's 64-bit technology gives players the features and functionality they need today while also supplying the power and components, such as virtual reality and CD-ROM, to ensure they can move successfully into the future. It will be years before players and developers exhaust Jaguar's potential and competitive systems catch up to Jaguar in terms of price and performance. 10. What lies ahead for Jaguar users? Jaguar's advanced 64-bit technology will allow users to expand the system's capabilities by adding peripherals without decreasing system performance. For example, in 1994, users can look forward to the release of Jaguar's CD-ROM peripheral. Atari also plans to develop and market a Jaguar virtual reality helmet.