Intergraph Corp is expected to announce plans to spin-off its graphics unit into a separate company today (Monday) according to industry reports. The unit, likely to be named after the company’s Intense3D graphics acceleration chips, is intended to help resolve conflicts between Intergraph’s efforts to sell its graphics technology to OEMs and at the same time sell complete graphics workstations under its own brand name. Intergraph first formed a separate division to handle OEM sales of its graphics technology back in 1997 (CI No 3,215), and in those days counted IBM Corp, Digital Equipment Corp and Samsung Electronic Co amongst its OEM customers. Dell Computer Corp signed up as a customer in April 1998, but in November 1998 turned instead to 3Dlabs Inc and Evans & Sutherland Inc to providers the graphics adapters for its Precision WorkStations. Recently, IBM has been Intergraph’s only significant OEM, while E&S – which acquired graphics board manufacturer AccelGraphics Inc last April – had snagged Compaq Computer Corp, Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co, Hitachi Ltd and Siemens AG as its OEMs. Even IBM is said to have been looking elsewhere, but on Monday Intergraph is expected to announce renewed support from IBM, Dell and maybe Compaq as well along with the new company. The new company should be ready for life on its own by the first half of this year, and will begin life with around 100 staff, the reports suggested. Meanwhile, on Friday, Intergraph said that its TDZ 2000 GL2 ViZual Workstation, including Intense3D’s Wildcat 4000 graphics technology, was now available, bringing Wildcat graphics down to its low-end workstations for the first time. A configured system costs around $6,000.