Jaguar Focus: Technology Overview (Aug.21,1993)

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/19/94-09:09:17 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Jaguar Focus: Technology Overview (Aug.21,1993)
Date: Sat Feb 19 21:09:17 1994

 :: Jaguar Special Edition   ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE       21 August 1993  ::

 |||   Jaguar Focus: Technology Overview
 |||   Courtesy: Atari Corp.
/ | \  ----------------------------------------------------------------

The main features of the Jaguar are:

    y   64-bit RISC-based multiprocessing architecture.

    y   A very high speed 106.4 Mbyte/sec 64-bit Data path.

    y   27 MIPs Graphic Processor with 4K bytes of zero wait-state
        internal SRAM that is closely coupled with the Blitter that
        can perform a full range of graphics effects (including
        shading and rotations) at high speed yet is programmable for
        maximum flexibility.

    y   A programmable Object Processor that can act as a variety of
        different video architectures, such as an advanced sprite
        engine, pixel-mapped based systems, character mapped based
        systems and many others.

    y   27 MIPs Digital Signal Processor with 8K bytes of zero
        wait-state internal SRAM for CD quality sound and full stereo

    y   A Blitter that can perform a full range of logical operations
        at high speed with hardware support for Z-buffering and
        Gouraud shading.

    y   MC68000 CPU clocked at 13.3 MHz as a general purpose control

    y   Lifelike quality 32-bit color on NTSC or PAL television
        screens, yielding greater than 16 million colors.

    y   ROM Cartridge capacity to 48 Megabits of compressed or
        uncompressed code. When compressed, equivalent to almost 400

    y   16 Megabits of fast page-mode DRAM.

    y   An optional double speed CD-ROM drive.

    y   ComLynx I/O for networked multiconsole games.

    y   Two (expandable to literally dozens) enhanced Controller
        Ports, supporting digital and analog interfaces, as well as
        keyboards, lightguns and mice.

    y   High performance, ergonomically designed, Controller with
        Joypad, 3 firebuttons, Pause, Option, and 12-key keypad with
        game-specific overlays.

    y   High speed synchronous serial port for connection to modems,
        cable TV networks and other high performance networks.

>From a user's perspective, the Atari Jaguar has been designed to be a
consumer-oriented, affordable, state-of-the-art entertainment system.
It is capable of exquisite graphic interaction and displays, together
with CD quality sound. From a developer's point of view, Jaguar is a
special purpose multi-processor computer that lends itself perfectly
to the design and implementation of complex entertainment and
educational programs in a development environment that is easy to

The Jaguar's features include the ability to draw over 16 Million
colors and generate stereo sound of CD quality. In addition, multiple
manipulatable Objects can be defined to be almost any size, from
sprite-like elements, to screen sized playfields. Jaguar's graphics
processors are capable of scaling, rotating and shading bit-mapped
and polygon images. Jaguar is a true multimedia machine that supports
cartridges, CD ROM, CD Audio, CD+G, full motion video, virtual
reality and networking.

The architecture of the Jaguar allows for high speed interactivity
between four specialized processors embedded in two custom chips,
code named Tom and Jerry. As a result, the Jaguar is a high
performance system that distributes the processing workload among
various specialized system components, creating the overall
spectacular performance Jaguar achieves.

On cartridges, Jaguar supports an enhanced JPEG image decompression
mechanism (JagPEG). The CD-ROM software uses CinePak? full motion
video decompression, licensed from SuperMac Technologies.

For the technologically minded, it is important to note that the
heart of a video game system does not lie in the individual
components. The meshing of those components in the system itself is
of significance due to the crucial nature of bus bandwidth. The 68000
processor requires a bandwidth of about seven megabytes per second
while a true color display (NTSC or PAL) requires a further nine
megabytes per second. The Digital Signal Processor uses less than
half a megabyte per second to play back sampled sound. This means
that almost 85% of the bandwidth is available for the burst
activities that the system needs to perform. This incredible
bandwidth is key to Jaguar's performance.

"We believe that this truly 'places the stake' over twice as far as
3DO has, at a price that consumers can actually afford," said Bill
Rehbock, director of application software, in charge of third party
licensing for the Jaguar.

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