5+ was probably too many to support by most game devs, but 3 would be nice and solid. It's also nice that we'll have another player besides AMD that actually gives a shit about Linux/OSS drivers. nVidia might finally be forced to open up and contribute to Nouveau and bring it up to par with amdgpu. The future could be a team green, team red and team blue. Intel has killed the discrete graphics projects before though. So we'll have to wait and see.
Or you mean ATI Rage3D. There was also as mentioned S3, Matrox, and 3D Lab ( Sold to Creative, that maker of Sound Blaster Sound Card ) as well. I miss 3DFx ( I still have a few Voodoo graphics Card somewhere ), Glide was way ahead of its time. John Carmack was fighting for OpenGL.
The biggest barrier of Entry to GPU isn't the Hardware, but the insane amount of Software ( Drivers ) optimisation required for the GPU to be even remotely competitive with its rivals.
They had an absolutely insane card that had both pci and agp connectors.
On Windows, store apps only use DirectX, including Win32 packaged ones.
On Apple you have MoltenVK, as Apple only cares about Metal.
Sony has their own APIs.
Nintendo does support Vulkan, but are more keen in their NVN, alongside Unreal and Unity support.
On Android it is an optional API, and the few vendors that support it, not everyone cares to update their drivers.
So Vulkan is not yet taking over the 3D world as Khronos might advertise it.
For desktop Linux FOSS drivers, sure, you are right. What choices do we have here besides low end Intel and AMD (who can't seem to compete with Nvidia for marketshare)? I mean, I put my money to AMD for GPU and CPU whenever I can. Ryzen and Vega give good price/performance... but the option isn't always available (Vega weren't in stock or expensive during the cryptocurrency hype, and for say laptop its difficult to go AMD).
Now, I get that Intel is a small player in the GPU market, and that competition is good here, but Intel is huge in the CPU market. I feel like AMD is the underdog; they face a gigantic bully on #1 in both CPU and GPU field: Intel and Nvidia. I don't like either of these companies...
What problem do you think having a standard ISA would solve? Nobody distributes native binaries for GPUs, only shaders (either compiled to intermediate representation or no). From my perspective, all that a standard ISA would cause is less implementation flexibility in the hardware since now the hardware has to deal with compatibility instead of letting the vendor-specific compiler included with the driver deal with it.
> requires OpenCL if you want to finish render today
honestly, modern CPUs aren't that far behind in Cycles rendering
I don't believe I have any blobs, other than the firmware one, which is true regardless - can you tell me what blobs you mean?
this one, part of amdgpu-pro
Edit: actually Blender performance is decent, but the kernels take ~10 minutes to compile.
Several applications (a) opencl servers - just fill an extra slot (b) eGPU over thunderbolt (c) a drop in GPU for Risc-V boards (sans ARM's Mali)