Mountain View, CA--Jan. 27, 1997--Silicon Graphics Inc. (Mountain View, CA) announced a new power desktop line called OCTANE, completing the company's transition to an all new product line which started in October. The new OCTANE family features high-performance graphics, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), and a pure 64-bit computing environment wrapped in an innovative high-performance system architecture designed to manage the demands of future applications.
Sharing many components with the company's supercomputing architecture announced last October, OCTANE employs a unique seven-port crossbar switch in lieu of the conventional shared bus architecture. OCTANE also combines this high-bandwidth switch with single or dual MIPS R10000 processors and the world's fastest desktop graphics, translating to premier application performance for users in the manufacturing, entertainment, government, and science markets.
OCTANE offers a 70 percent increase in floating-point performance over the industry-leading, Indigo2 IMPACT 10000 family, also from Silicon Graphics.
With a peak bandwidth of 1.6 Gbytes/second per port, the seven-port OCTANE crossbar switch provides as much as 10 times the bandwidth found in most traditional architectures today. The SMP capability in the OCTANE architecture allows leading-edge companies to accelerate their product development processes. For example, mechanical engineers will now be able to simultaneously design a part while analyzing its ability to withstand structural loads, thus shortening time-to-market. These tasks are traditionally run sequentially.
The system is designed to process multiple data types including audio, video, imagery, and 3D geometry. With hardware accelerated geometry processing, high-speed texturing, and sophisticated image processing, OCTANE systems enable compelling, real-time visual imagery for applications ranging from solid modeling, defense imaging, 3D animation, and emerging solutions such as real-time 3D volume roaming.
OCTANE graphics scale to deliver a wide variety of performance levels. OCTANE/SI is designed for industry-leading solid modeling performance. Customers can also add a dedicated texture module to an OCTANE/SI system to create very high levels of realism. OCTANE/SSI yields twice the solid modeling performance of OCTANE/SI for customers tackling more complex models. OCTANE/MXI, the flagship of the product line, offers the highest levels of realism available in the desktop market.
OCTANE fuses graphics and digital media processing with built-in digital audio and a series of optional video processing cards. Digital media integration is seamless in the OCTANE system and it can be edited using built-in software utilities such as Movie Maker, Media Player, and Image Works. Coupling these digital media capabilities with an optional OCTANE Personal Video board allows users to make a movie from the 3D models displayed on their screens. Movies can be saved to disk, edited with built-in digital media software tools, and posted to a personal Web server for a powerful new means of communication.
The addition of the optional OCTANE Digital Video board, with advanced video processing features, offers customers high-end video processing capabilities on a general purpose workstation. The OCTANE Compression card allows users to process two streams of state-of-the-art JPEG compression. Further, baseline audio capability can be expanded in the system using a new PCI-based audio expansion card that offers an additional 10 channels of digital audio I/O.
All OCTANE systems come standard with 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet, analog and digital audio I/O, external stereo speakers, 64 Mbytes or 128 Mbytes of memory, 2 Gbytes or 4 Gbytes of disk, a 20-in. monitor, and one of three graphics options. OCTANE system pricing starts at $24,995, with dual processing versions starting at $33,995. The OCTANE line is expected to ship in February. OCTANE video options will ship in April.
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