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February 15, 1988

ARDENT, NEE DANA, SETS UP IN THE UK AHEAD OF LAUNCH OF GRAPHICS SUPER-CPU

By CBR Staff Writer

Preparing for the build-up to the launch of its Titan personal graphics supercomputer, Ardent Computer Corp, the Sunnyvale, California company formed by Convergent Inc founder Allen Michels as Dana Computer, has quietly set up its European operation in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, under the direction of David Howes, who was Apollo UK’s first employee and latterly its director of European sales dev.cw 8 elopment. Although the single user, 64 bit vector parallel processing Titan is not due in the UK until sometime after its promised US first quarter unveiling, Howes is already touting the company’s Dynamic Objective Rendering Environment, DORE, graphics toolkit as a possible industry standard, offering the source-code to applications developers for integration into their products. DORE is aimed at those who want to visualise complex algorithms and maths routines in graphics form, from wire frame through flatshade and smoothshade, to full ray tracing. DORE can interface to graphics standards such as GKS, or developers can write their own device drivers. The Titan, which will be targeted towards applications such as computational chemistry and fluid dynamics as well as the more tbaditional workstation mechanical computer-aided-design business, is expected to achieve a performance of 6 MFlops (using the Linpack 100 by 100 double precision compiled benchmark) in its low-end single processor configuration, and it will be expandable to as many as four of the company’s 64-bit processors.

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