Hewlett-Packard Co is taking a lead in the competitive three dimensional graphics market by implementing some of its high-end, high-margin graphics technologies which typically run on expensive Unix workstations on sub-$20,000 Windows NT boxes. It’s a move that industry rivals such as Silicon Graphics Inc are currently wrestling with as they try and figure out how to address the growing market for high-performance, but low-cost, NT workstations (CI No 3,207). HP claims that a new version of its Unix-based Visualize graphics board running in new Pentium II- based PC workstations due in September will enable developers to create 3D models using systems which previously required a $100,000-plus SGI Onyx2 Reality workstation. HP claims the $20,000 offering will also perform some tasks twice as fast as Sun Microsystems Inc’s Ultra-2/Creator 3D workstations and three times faster than other NT workstations. The Visualize boards incorporate two HP PA-8000 RISCs and later in the year the workstations will also utilize Intel Corp’s AGP Accelerated Graphics Port technology, which provides graphics accelerators such as Visualize with direct access to memory, avoiding the current PCI bus bottleneck.
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