What I meant was the Gigapixel and 3dfx technologies were all theoretical, nothing had ever been, successfully, built with them. nVidia had to do all the design work and implementation work from scratch. ATI bought a ready made design and re-engineered to become a PC gfx chip.
Gigapixel had working silicon when 3dfx bought them. 3dfx has first pass ramage parts back from the fab and had just started working on them when they were sold. Working parts even if they are still alpha/beta is not my def of theoretical.
I also dont think its a give that the NV30 is gonna to be that much faster than the R9700. The part can only be as fast as its slowest data path. ATI hand tweaked theirs. BD brought up lots of good points. Remember this chip has 120+ million transistors so its not the same thing as a straight die shrink from a GF4. Also the GF3 was clocked slower than the Ultra....