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February 10, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:09pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Silicon Graphics Inc is heading up a new initiative to define a standard applications programming interface for the computer- aided design, manufacturing and engineering industry, based, not surprisingly, on its own OpenGL technology. The workstation company believes that the battle over graphics libraries has now been won, with pretty much all the hardware vendors now supporting OpenGL – Hewlett-Packard Co has been one of the last to switch from its preference for the PEX PHIGS Extension to X Windows libraries over to OpenGL, but now seems firmly committed. The CAD/CAM/CAE software houses have also been won over, though some, including Dessault Systemes SA, are still putting the finishing touches to their OpenGL implementations. So now is the time, says Silicon Graphics, to work on a higher-level programming interface that will enable the software houses to concentrate on their design, rather than graphics programming expertise. The company is planning a high level graphics summit in mid-March in conjunction with Dessault, Division Inc, Parametric Technology Corp, Prosolvia Clarus AB and Structural Dynamics Research Corp, where they will attempt to define an open, standard applications programming interface for rendering CAD and analysis data. An OpenGL base is given, but companies are free to submit components of the new standard. Silicon Graphics has already proposed its own libraries, and claims to have a pretty solid proposal, though it insists other submissions are welcome. Others said to be interested in participating include Hewlett-Packard and IBM Corp. The first products based on the new interface could be out by this time next year, depending on development cycles. Meanwhile, proposals for extensions to OpenGL version 1.2 are currently being reviewed by the OpenGL Architectural Review Board.

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