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July 22, 1998

E&S & INTEL STEP UP ALLIANCE TO TARGET MERCED

By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp has paid $24m for an 8.2% stake in Evans & Sutherland Co to cement its relationship with the graphics chip and board vendor that claims to own 30% of the market for high-end Windows NT graphics solutions. The shares are non-voting and Intel has a warrant to pick up a further 3.1% if it chooses. E&S is developing new graphics and video products for Intel-based workstations as the chip giant drives Windows NT further into tradition Unix and E&S’ territory. E&S now does 80% of its revenue on NT and only sells Unix at the very high end of the market. E&S desktop group general manager Rick Maule says the two will exchange some technologies as part of the deal and that the real thrust of alliance is to step up the pace of development for the introduction of 64-bit Merced-based NT workstations. With Silicon Graphics Inc rolling over to Merced E&S expects SGI’s traditional film and broadcast market to open up to Intel-based solutions. There won’t be any E&S technology in SGI’s first Visual PC NT boxes however. By year-end E&S says it will offer four-way RealImage chipsets that will eclipse most Unix workstations graphics performance. The Mitsubishi re-programmable geometry engine announced Tuesday will be a boutique product as far as E&S is concerned. Most users will add faster CPUs for better geometry performance as they get better application and services performance at the same time. E&S recently bought Silicon Reality for its 3D chips and AccelGraphics for its boards. It has created a Pixel Products division to focus on the 3D NT visualization market, specifically vertical industry solutions. E&S says Unix’s grip on the high-end of the market will wane as vendors are forced to embrace more non-proprietary technologies such as PCI. Their graphics integration is so deep that it’s too proprietary, E&S believes.

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