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February 23, 1994

DIVISION LUANCHES ITS SUPER-FAST VIRTUAL REALITY

By CBR Staff Writer

The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Division Inc arm of Division Group Plc, Bristol has now formally launched the Pixel-Planes system it previewed at the end of last year (CI No 2,321) – a low-cost, massively parallel graphics accelerator board for its ProVision 100 virtual reality system. The new ProVision 100 VPX system is based on Pixel-Planes 5, a graphics architecture developed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Division has negotiated a worldwide joint exclusive licence for the new technology and will offer it as an OEM graphics subsystem or as part of fully integrated virtual reality systems. Division says the system gets over the problem that for all but the most expensive systems, virtual reality has been limited by the poor quality of the graphics images created, and claims that the ProVision 100 VPX gives users a dramatic leap in the detail which they can display at real-time frame rates. It uses massive parallelism with a custom processor fabricated by VLSI Technology Inc – dedicated to each pixel in the image. It can display 160m fully photo-textured, Z-buffered, specular-lit pixels per second, at up to 300,000 polygons per second. The system costs from $50,000, and boards from $15,000.

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