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SGI Launches Linux Visualization
Silicon Graphics has launched an initiative to bring advanced graphics technology to computers running the Linux operating system. The initiative comprises two elements: SGI's collaboration with various Open Source graphics projects, including Chromium, and delivery of a comprehensive developer tool kit.
The initiative enables developers to create new advanced visualization applications for Linux, opening new market opportunities that meet the needs of technical, large-data, high-performance computing users. This new initiative answers the need for a commercial Linux visualization solution reportedly on par with high-end UNIX visualization systems. Developers for early Linux-centric technical markets, such as bio-informatics and university research, will have access to highly affordable, scalable technologies that will enable them to leverage these opportunities.
The SGI Visualization Developer Tool Kit for Linux is available immediately and includes a full suite of tools and technologies for visualization on Linux. At the center of the Tool Kit is early access to a scalable, multi-CPU, multi-GPU Silicon Graphics visualization system for Linux, built around the SGI NUMAflex shared memory architecture, using Intel Itanium 2 processors. Compared with typical clustered systems, in which code is broken up over multiple nodes, the NUMAflex architecture reportedly enables greater ease of development because all code is stored in a single shared memory system. The tool kit also includes porting guides, APIs and SDKs (software development kits).
This initiative, launched at the LinuxWorld trade show in New York , allows Linux application developers to create new software for a coming era of advanced, scalable visualization on Linux. To date, visualization on Linux has been constrained by PC-class system performance. Soon, however, SGI will remove these limitations by introducing a scalable Linux visualization system based on the Intel Itanium 2 microprocessor. This will enable independent software developers to support customers' needs to visualize large data sets on the same Linux operating system on which the data is generated.
?Silicon Graphics sees the convergence of advanced visualization with Linux on Intel Itanium 2 as a powerful, strategic trend,? said Paul McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Visual Systems Group, SGI. ?The Developer Tool Kit that we are announcing is a resource for application developers and will help to accelerate the development of advanced graphics capabilities for large, complex data sets in Linux. Furthermore, SGI's support of the Chromium Project, and the contributions of code that we will be making to this project, again demonstrates SGI's long-standing commitment to the Open Source movement.?