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January 26, 1998

DYNAMIC PICTURES UNVEILS POWERTHREADS DRIVER

By CBR Staff Writer

Santa Clara, California-based Dynamic Pictures Inc is pushing Powerthreads, a new driver which the company claims significantly boosts graphics performance of OpenGL based applications. The new software runs on Dynamic’s miroOxygen 3D graphics accelerator boards (CI No 3,118) and determines the way the board allocates processor resources. Designed for use on multiple processor workstations, Powerthreads enables a given graphics application to use each CPU to simultaneously feed multiple rendering and texture mapping engines on the miroOxygen card. On the company’s quad processor card this means a dual Pentium box can feed four processors in parallel, so that four areas of the image can be displayed simultaneously. The company claims this cuts bottlenecks, boosting performance on graphics intensive applications such as Softimage 3D, 3D Studio Max and ProEngineer by between 20% and 40%, but did not release benchmarks. Dynamic currently has three key offerings in its line of graphic accelerator cards: the entry-level Oxygen 102; a single processor 8MB board, the dual processor Oxygen202 with 16MB RAM and the high-end Oxygen 402; a 32 MB quad processor card. Dynamic competes in the Windows NT OpenGL market against the likes of 3Dlabs Inc and Intergraph Corp. Director of Sales, Randy Lewis says the company has around 10% of the worldwide market of 100,000 seats, a figure which is expected to grow to around 250,000 over the next year according to San Francisco based analysts Jon Peddie Associates. Lewis says the company will be releasing its new line of subsystems, code-named Venice, some time around mid-year, promising enhanced texture-mapping capabilities. Dynamic Pictures was formed five years ago as a spin off from Digital Equipment Corp’s MIPS workstation group and remains privately held, saying it plans to go for an initial public offering sometime in the next year. The Oxygen 102 card sells for $700, the Oxygen 202 is $1,700 with the quad processor Oxygen 402 priced at $3,000.

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