VPro

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General information

The VPro series (code name "Odyssey") is a a computer graphics architecture for SGI workstations. First released on the SGI Octane2, it was subsequently used on the SGI Fuel and SGI Tezro workstations. VPro provides some very advanced capabilities such as per-pixel lighting, also known as "phong shading", and 48-bit RGBA color.

There are currently four different VPro graphics board revisions, called: V6, V8, V10 and V12. The first series were the V6 and V8, with 32MB and 128MB of RAM respectively. The V10 and V12 had double the geometry performance of the older V6/V8, but were otherwise similar. The V6 and V10 can have up to 8MB RAM allocated to textures, while V8 and V12 can have up to 104MB RAM used for textures.

Vpro-1.gif

Features

  • "OpenGL on a chip"™ technology
  • Hardware implementation of specular shading with per-pixel normal interpolation (through the SGIX_fragment_lighting extension)
  • 48-bit (12-bit per component) RGBA
  • 96-bit hardware-accelerated accumulation buffer for depth of field, full-scene anti-aliasing, motion blurs and other effects
  • texture memory capacity 8MB (V6, V10) or 104MB (V8, V12), total memory 32MB (V6, V10) or 128MB (V8, V12)
  • Perspective-correct textures and colors
  • High-performance hardware clipping
Option: Color: RAM: Max. Texture Memory Geometry Speed
V6 48bit RGBA 32MB 8MB Original GE speed
V8 48bit RGBA 128MB 104MB Original GE speed
V10 48bit RGBA 32MB 8MB 2X Faster GE speed
V12 48bit RGBA 128MB 104MB 2X Faster GE speed

EEPROM information from forum topic

See also this and this topic.

EPROM information
VPro Computer part# eeprom id
V10, Fuel, old rev. 030_1725_00x ASTODYB
V10, Fuel, new rev. 030_1826_00x ASTODYV10
V12, Fuel 030_1726_00x ASTODY
V12, Tezro 030_1884_00x ODY128B1_2

'AST' is for 'Asterix', the codename for Fuel. 'ODY' is short for Odyssey, the codename for VPro graphics.

Graphics subsystem

The VPro graphics subsystem consists of an SGI proprietary chip set and associated software. The chip set consists of the buzz ASIC, the pixel blaster and jammer (PB&J) ASIC, and associated SDRAM.

The buzz ASIC is a single-chip graphics pipeline. It operates at 251 MHz and contains on-chip SRAM. The buzz ASIC has three interfaces:

  • Host (16-bit, 400-MHz peer-to-peer XIO link)
  • SDRAM (The SDRAM is 32 MB (V6 or V10) or 128 MB (V8 or V12); the memory bus operates at half the speed of the buzz ASIC.)
  • PB&J ASIC

All VPro boards support the OpenGL ARB imaging extensions, allowing for hardware acceleration of numerous imaging operations at real-time rates.


V6/V8 Pixel Clock Issues

The first generation of VPro boards (V6 & V8) have a design flaw that prohibits graphics modes in much of what might otherwise be considered the normal range for SGI desktop systems:

  • Modes in the 109-193MHz range cannot be selected at all on V6/V8.
  • Modes that are close to the lower end of that range (like 1280x1024_59/60) are only allowed at 8 bytes/pixel framebuffer size and even at that setting some people reported display problems (noise, flickering).

Pertinent nekochan.net discussions about these issues can be found here and here.

VPro Display Resolutions

This table was taken from http://www.sgi.com/products/remarketed/octane2/display_resolutions.html

Display Resolutions
(V6, V8, V10, V12)
Additional V8/V10/V12 Display Resolutions Additional V10/V12 Resolutions (3, 4)
1920x1080 at 30Hz interlaced 1920x1200 at 60Hz 1920x1200 at 72Hz (for DCD Option)
1600x1024 at 83Hz (1) 1280x1024 at 100Hz (quad stereo, 21" monitor only) 1920x1200 at 60Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x1024 at 100Hz (quad stereo, 21" monitor only) 1920x1080 at 30Hz interlaced 1920x1080 at 72Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x1024 at 96Hz) (2) 1600x1200 at 75Hz 1920x1080 at 60Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x960 at 30Hz interlaced 1600x1200 at 72Hz 1920x1035 at 30Hz interlaced
1280x720 at 72Hz 1600x1200 at 75Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x720 at 60Hz 1600x1200at 72Hz (for DCD Option)
1024x768 at 75Hz 1600x1200 at 60Hz
1024x768 at 60Hz 1600x1200 at 60Hz (for DCD Option)
800x600 at 60Hz 1600x1024 at 83Hz (for DCD Option)
768x576 at 25Hz interlaced 1600x1024 at 60Hz (for DCD Option)
640x480 at 60Hz 1280x1024 at 85Hz
640x486 at 30Hz interlaced 1280x1024 at 75Hz
1280x1024 at 72Hz
1280x1024 at 66Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x1024 at 60Hz
1600x1024 at 60Hz (for DCD Option)
1280x1024 at 30Hz
1280x960 at 30Hz interlaced (for DCD Option)
1280x492 at 120Hz stereo (3, 5)
1024x768 at 96Hz stereo
800x600 at 60Hz
768x576 at 25Hz interlaced
640x486 at 30Hz interlaced
640x480 at 60Hz

1: 24" monitor recommended for correct aspect ratio
2: 1280x1024 at 60Hz (available with 8-byte frame buffer depths, supports 4-bit per component RGBA, double-buffered with Z)
3: Support for some resolutions requires installation of IRIX 6.5.10 or higher
4: Resolutions designated for the Dual Channel Display (DCD) Option on V12 only are in skew mode for timing compatibility; while the two displays can have different resolutions, they must run at the same refresh rate
5: 1280x492 at 114Hz available with V6 and V8



See Also

  • There is also some interesting information about V10 ERPOM disassembly in this forum topic.
  • A forum thread about the fair price of V12 boards lead to a discussion about the differences between V10 and V12... here