First post, by TelamonLivesOn
I know it sounds silly, but hear me out.
As we all know, 3DFX went belly-up in 2000 and then was bought out by nVidia, who we know know as the king of card shortages. Anyways, by that time, 3DFX released chipset and reference board design information (if I recall) for the Voodoo 1, 2, and 3 (and maybe a few others I am not aware of), but not the Voodoo 4500 or 5500, and certainly not of the unreleased 6000 or Rampage cards. These cards, along with the prototypes, the Quantum3D bricks, and the many other models have skyrocketed in price in recent years, likely due to the influence of Youtubers and other social media influencers or the trend of revisiting childhood memories. So my question is, would it be in any way viable to reverse-engineer the VSA-100 chipset and program a micro-controller to closely emulate it? Considering similar projects have been done with chips such as the SID chip, I would certainly think this would be possible. The reverse-engineering process would certainly require owners of these cards to provide whatever information they can regarding voltages, clock speeds, model numbers, chipset revisions, in order to build a database of the differences between these later chipsets. If reverse-engineering the chipset was successful, then the digital reconstruction of the Voodoo 4500 and Voodoo 5500 reference board designs would take place. Imagine creating your own Voodoo 6000 64-way SLI 😳. While this will likely take years to do and will be extremely difficult, what has the community done that seemed ludicrous? EX: Innovation SSI-2001 Clone, Snark Barker (SB 1.0 Clone), Radlib (Adlib Clone), Resound OPL2/3, OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, Covox Speech Thing clone (forgive me, I forgot the name), Orpheus (Later SB Clone), ARGUS (GUS PNP Clone), etc.
Note: I am not in any way implying that I will start work on this right now, but I just wanted to throw the thought out there.
TLDR: Imagine not having to pay $500 for a bare, untested 3DFX Voodoo 5500 when you could download code to insert on a microcontroller and order your own PCB for less than $125