Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif., has taken a minority stake in a mechanical computer-aided design start-up headed by Joe Costello, the former president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems.
The company, called Think3 (formerly known as Cad.Lab), is pursuing 3-D CAD software for mechanical design of a wide range of products -- from home appliances to custom luxury automobiles. Intel Thursday said it had been working with Think3 to optimize its CAD software for its microprocessor architecture as part of its efforts to take business away from Unix-based workstations.
"We are committed to work closely with companies that share our computing vision for the mechanical design-automation industry," said Anand Chandrasekher, general manager of Intel's Workstation Products Group. "Intel-based workstations meet and exceed the demands of 2-D users who desire 3-D modeling capability, providing the raw power necessary for the most demanding 3-D assembly modeling and analysis at very affordable price points."
The terms of the investment were not disclosed by the two companies. Recently, Think3 said it had secured $17.5 million in second-round funding led by Robertson Stephens' Omega Ventures.
Costello said he wants Think3 to launch a global revolution in 3-D design. "We believe a 3-D revolution is poised to happen, in part, because today's hardware can readily handle the performance requirements of 3-D software at prices for the masses," said Costello, who is chairman and CEO of the Santa Clara-based company.
"Until now, 2-D designers who would love to do 3-D design couldn't easily make the transition because the software, predominantly running on high-end UNIX workstations, has been too expensive and difficult to master," he said. "At Think3, we're helping change all that by providing designers powerful software that's entertaining and easy to learn running on affordable hardware, such as Intel-based workstations."