A Step Forward for “Visual Computing”

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 11, 1999 — Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) today announced a new line of desktop workstations for
“visual computing”
that take advantage of the power and flexibility of Windows NT to provide high-end media capabilities to the desktop.

These workstations, the Silicon Graphics 320 and the Silicon Graphics 540, are custom-designed for high end
“visual computing”
applications such as video production, 3D medical imaging, Computer Aided Design (CAD), film and television special effects, and topography mapping. Already a leader in high-end graphics solutions, Silicon Graphics has embraced the advanced processor technology of Intel and the affordability and broad application support of the Windows platform to make professional visual computing easy and affordable.

“With the introduction of these powerful new visual workstations, the capabilities of professional, high-end graphics and media capabilities are now accessible to a much broader customer base at incredibly affordable price points,”
said Rick Belluzzo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Silicon Graphics.
“The things that engineers, scientists and artists will create with access to this level of power and functionality on the desktop will have a huge impact on the world in the years ahead.”

These new workstations are the product of 2- years of close technical work between Microsoft and Silicon Graphics. The two companies already collaborate on a project called Fahrenheit, a set of standards and development tools for high-end graphics applications, and today’s announcement reflects the two companies’ commitment to hardware innovation on the Windows platform.
“These new workstations will provide our mutual customers with a powerful Windows-based solution while attracting a whole new set of visual computing professionals,”
said James DeBragga, account manager for SGI at Microsoft.

“The new Visual Workstations represent an amazing step forward, not only for the personal computing industry and Windows NT, but for the computer industry at large,”
said Microsoft president Steve Ballmer.
“The hardware innovation that SGI has shown in this Windows NT box – in audio, in graphics, in networking, in the memory architecture, the bandwidth – is a phenomenal piece of innovation that shows in radical new ways the great power, flexibility and price performance that you can get out of Intel architecture machines running the Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 family.”

After the main product launch, which will be broadcast on the Silicon Graphics Web site, the company will hold more than 40 events in the United States and Canada, as well as dozens more throughout Europe and Asia. The first event, held at Microsoft Studios in Redmond, Wash., will take place on Jan. 13, 1998 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. This event will be broadcast on TenTV nationwide, as well as on the Microsoft NetShow network at http://www.microsoft.com/products/nse/ .

These new workstations use the Silicon Graphics Cobalt
™chipset and the innovative Integrated Visual Computing (IVC) architecture to accelerate key graphics and audio functions, providing a six- to ten-fold increase in performance. As a result, image quality and texture mapping have greatly improved, and many video and 3D modeling functions can be performed in real time. And with Intel Pentium®
processors running on the Windows NT platform, customers can take advantage of this increased performance at a much lower price.

“Its been a lot of fun for us to work with SGI on this, said Ballmer.”
It’s an incredible, exciting piece of work.

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