[rescue] cgsix question

Joshua D Boyd jdboyd at cs.millersville.edu
Sun Dec 1 12:39:21 CST 2002

On Sun, Dec 01, 2002 at 12:21:50AM -0500, Kevin wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> I guess "acceptable" is a bit ambiguous, sorry.  What i
> mean to ask is, has anyone here used it and was pleased
> with it for their purposes, whatever those may have
> been.
> Is it just a raster shader or does it do T&L as well? 
> Any geometry engine?  Does it do OpenGL or was there a
> competing standard for Suns at the time?

There are OpenGL drivers available separately.  I've seen references to
them in print, and heard people mention them, but never actually seen

It also supports PHIGS, PEX, and XGL (these three are built into Solaris
I believe).  

It does do hardware lighting.  And it does do hardware geometry
transformation, and it does do hardware NURBS (via a hardware
tessolator).  It does not do texturing.  T&L is a PC word, since in the
workstation world, there aren't very many raster only systems (I think
the O2 is one of the few), but they are lots of non-texturing systems.

The ZX has a number of interesting features.  First, it's overlay plane
allows both 24bit and 8bit graphics simultaneously, so you can run the
GIMP in 24bit, but Mozilla in only 8 bit, and doom in 8 bit, and yet
have no color flashing from conflicting palletes.  Well, in theory you
can do that.  I'm not sure how you force a program to not auto-detect
that the Xserver is 24bit capable so that it runs in 8bit mode.

It seems to be more flexible with regard to the resolutions is supports
than most Sun cards.  I saw one running at NTSC resolution hooked up to
some NTSC displays (through an array of passthroughs and Ys, it was
hooked up to a video printer, two video monitors, and a NTSC headmounted
display).  It supports stereo, but not in a way that would work without
head mounted display.

Also, the overlay plane is rather slow, but running programs in 8bit
mode helps.  I suspect that this is exasperated by software not using
some of the built in features for supporting fast scrolling, but I don't
know for sure.

Some particularly interesting things is that it accelerates XIL, so if
you happen to be doing any imaging work, this would make it faster (but
probably not as fast as the average Mac).  I also get the impression
that it will accelerate DisplayPostscript rendering.

You should be able to find almost all the information you need in a
document titled "SPARCstation 10ZX and SPARCstation ZX Graphics
Technology White Paper - July 1993".  It is available somewhere on the
web.  Try citeseer.

Joshua D. Boyd

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