By William Fellows Hewlett-Packard Co has a new generation graphics engine in the pipeline that will ship in around nine months, the company let slip to ComputerWire yesterday. But details of the technology were non existent as was any news of the next-generation graphics software called Fahrenheit that HP is supposedly working on with Microsoft […]
By William Fellows
Hewlett-Packard Co has a new generation graphics engine in the pipeline that will ship in around nine months, the company let slip to ComputerWire yesterday. But details of the technology were non existent as was any news of the next-generation graphics software called Fahrenheit that HP is supposedly working on with Microsoft Corp and Silicon Graphics Inc to combine HP’s DirectModel 3D rendering technology, SGI’s high-end 3D OpenGL libraries and other Microsoft technology. Fahrenheit project leader David Story left SGI just weeks ago and HP has already changed the emphasis of its participation in the project by enhancing DirectModel to incorporate OpenGL on the way to Fahrenheit. It has said it expects some of the high-level Fahrenheit work to roll out probably early 2000 with the lower- level technology to follow.
In addition it has been concerned that for ISVs the project has appeared to be a closed club; hardly the kind of image it wants to foster when its success will stand or fall on how many developers it can win. HP’s top line graphics engine is the Visualize fx6 Pro accelerator with six PA-RISC math CPUs.
HP also added a four-way system to its HP-UX workstation line yesterday as the J7000 with 440MHz, 0.25 micron PA-8500 RISCs. HP is emphasizing the 8Gb RAM the box supports, claiming it will enable users to run the most demanding engineering applications. An entry-level system with 4Gb RAM costs $50,000.
The workstation has the same internal design as the J5000, C3000, B1000 and the B-Class and C-Class servers in which CPUs are added to the Runway bus backplane. It means that CPUs will share bandwidth, and the more CPUs there are, the less bandwidth there will be. HP’s new IA-64 upgradeable design featured in the N- Class and L-Class incorporates one control chip for each two CPUs and can output data on to a Merced (IA-64) bus. The Runway designs do not feature the control chip. That’s why HP won’t be offering IA-64 upgradeable workstations. Why? Cost. A four-way N- Class servers starts around $100,000. HP doesn’t believe workstation users will swallow that kind of price tag. It claims a four-way J7000 performs 32.4 SPECint95 and 45.8 SPECfp95 compared with Sun’s Ultra450/400 that does 13 SPECint95 and 31.7 SPECfp95. HP has a long list of ISVs supporting parallelism and/or 64-bits in their HP-UX application