"hardware with fully per pixel formats"

Excerpt from Carmack’s GDC2K4 keynote :

Right now we’re looking at starting new research for the current generation of hardware with fully per pixel formats, doing all the interesting rendering things that we’re looking forward to on there.
What does that mean, “hardware with fully per pixel formats”?

And again in part three :

[…] as soon as the technology matures a little bit in the current generation of cards for doing sophisticated offline rendering with the current hardware accelerated per pixel format stuff, you will have a render farm in a person’s desktop computer.

Has no one got any idea? :eek:

Maybe “fully per-pixel formats” means full-precision calculations within the pipeline? Or maybe “formats” is a red herring, and he’s talking about per-pixel calculations via shaders?

Or something else?

I read the 3 articles, and to my mind ‘per pixel format’ is more like a bad transcription.

Both your interpretations seem correct though.

I didn´t read the article, but it sounds as if he means float-buffers, ie. FP16 or so, instead of fixed point 12 bit, or whatever some hardware does support. With “fully” he could mean, that they support everything, including blending and stuff.


Thank you for your responses.

As it seems there’s some confusion around this, I’m happy to concede that Carmack is probably referring to one or more of the items we mentioned, but has a non-standard name for it!