INTEL, MACROMEDIA CONFIRM 3D GRAPHICS PACT
New Orleans, LA — Intel Corporation and Macromedia, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for compelling and effective Web sites, announced joint development efforts to bring Intel’s Internet 3D Graphics software technology to the Macromedia Shockwave Player. The Intel Internet 3D Graphics-enhanced Shockwave Player will enable the next generation of bandwidth-friendly, high quality interactive games, engaging entertainment, and more intuitive online shopping. The combination of Intel’s Internet 3D Graphics technology with the wide reach of the Shockwave Player, the most widely deployed multimedia player on the Web with 137 million users, will help broaden the use of 3D content on the Web from niche applications to widespread adoption. “Our work with Macromedia is part of Intel’s strategy to continue to accelerate industry innovation and develop technologies to improve the experience people have when using the Internet,” said Steve Spina, director of technology marketing at Intel’s Architecture Lab. “Combining our Internet 3D Graphics technology with the Shockwave Player will allow 3D to take off on the Web.”
“Our joint development efforts with Intel will bring the realism and impact of interactive 3D to e-merchandising, e-learning, and entertainment on the Web,” said Diane Rogers, vice president of product management for Macromedia. “Shockwave Player’s high performance engine is ideal for this kind of sophisticated interactivity and visualization. By easily integrating into any Macromedia Flash or HTML Web site, Shockwave content gives consumers the magnetic Internet experiences unavailable with any other technology.” The technology the two companies are developing is gathering strong industry momentum. 3D software developers Alias|Wavefront, Discreet Logic, NxView, and SoftImage today pledged their support and are working with Intel and Macromedia to make sure their software applications will work with this new 3D technology for the Internet.
The Intel Internet 3D Graphics technology, developed by Intel’s Architecture Lab, utilizes Adaptive 3D Geometry, a set of dynamic algorithms that enable 3D content to have multiple resolutions, automatically increasing or decreasing 3D quality based on the computing power of each user’s system, offering the best experience possible. The Intel technology also enables content providers to create smooth, photo-realistic surfaces, cartoon rendering and effects that include elements such as smoke, fire, water, and vapor. Across the Web, Shockwave content draws users in by its differentiated content including stunning visuals, flexible interactivity, multiuser communities, and strong Web integration with HTML, Macromedia Flash, XML, and QuickTime. 3D content will also benefit from the compressed Macromedia Shockwave format, which was optimized specifically for streaming over narrow bandwidths. The technology also seamlessly integrates with 3D modeling software from Alias|Wavefront, Discreet, and other software developers. Macromedia and Intel expect to announce further details about the technology later this year. For additional information about the Intel Architecture Labs and the technologies it develops, please visit http://www.intel.com/ial .
STANFORD TEAMS WITH GLOBAL COMMUNICATION SEMICON.
Sunnyvale, CA — Stanford Microdevices, a leading designer and supplier of high-performance radio frequency (RF) components for communications equipment manufacturers, announced it has completed a foundry supply agreement with GCS (Global Communication Semiconductor) to develop high performance RF integrated circuits for telecommunication infrastructure equipment used in the delivery of wireless and broadband wireline services. Under the terms of the agreement, GCS will provide SMDI with a high volume 4-inch Indium Gallium Phosphide (InGaP)/Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) HBT wafer supply, with all products designed by SMDI at its design centers in Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, and Ottawa, Canada. SMDI has recently completed engineering evaluation testing of a family of high linearity amplifiers manufactured by GCS. Additional InGaP/GaAs products are currently in development and will extend the range of SMDI products to be manufactured by GCS.
Jerry Quinnell, Stanford Microdevices vice president of Sales and Marketing and chief operating officer, stated, “With its high linearity performance and exceptional thermal properties, the GCS InGaP/GaAs process technology is a technology platform that features outstanding versatility and applicability for our infrastructure focused components. Our commitment with GCS signifies our intent to continue delivering high-performance, price-competitive solutions to our customers.” “GCS is very pleased to establish a relationship with Stanford Microdevices which is so complimentary to our `Pure-Play’ Foundry business model,” commented Dr. Owen Wu, president and CEO of GCS. “We are witnessing a trend toward increased outsourcing in the GaAs industry as the markets for high-performance RF devices continually increases. Our contract with Stanford Microdevices adds another solid `partnership’ to the GCS stable of customers whom have unique and progressive designs and seek a `Virtual Foundry’ with which to produce their devices. Time to market is a critical issue in today’s fast growing communications industry, Global Communication Semiconductors is pleased to expedite Stanford Microdevices’ HBT products to market utilizing our open foundry services.”
DELL CHOOSES BENCHMARK TAPE SYSTEM’S DLT1
Boulder, COLO. — Benchmark Tape Systems Corp., the value line DLT storage solutions company, announced that Dell Computer Corp. has signed an OEM agreement to integrate Benchmark’s DLT1 tape drive into its PowerVault storage product line. Dell is the first systems company to bring Benchmark products to its customers and began shipping its PowerVault 110T DLT1 tape drive earlier this month. “Dell’s emphasis on industry-standard storage solutions, its leadership position in the worldwide server market, and the high quality reputation of its PowerVault storage product line make this an ideal relationship for Benchmark,” said Lew Frauenfelder, president of Benchmark Tape Systems. “We are confident that this important partnership will help broaden the worldwide market for our storage solutions.” “Our customers can benefit from the reliability, performance, capacity and price of the PowerVault 110T DLT1,” said Kevin Reinis, vice president and general manager of PowerVault storage for Dell. “The system will accommodate a range of customers, from small businesses with simple networks to very large customers who want to protect significant amounts of data.”
The Benchmark DLT1 tape drive offers 80 GB of compressed capacity and a 6 MB/second compressed transfer rate, so network storage servers or workstations can be backed up on one single tape cartridge. Its soft unload capability was designed specifically for automation. Along with its leading price/performance metrics, the Benchmark DLT1 offers organizations a clear migration path because it is read-compatible with the DLT4000 and utilizes DLTtape IV media. Founded in May 1998, Benchmark Tape Systems Corporation is dedicated to developing tape and storage solutions that feature new levels of scalability in industry standard DLT technology. Enhancing a proven design, Benchmark’s products deliver exceptional reliability and winning price/performance. The company’s products are based on DLTtape technology, licensed from Quantum Corp., a minority investor. Benchmark markets its products and services through multiple channels and strategic partners worldwide, and offers innovative products and services by delivering proven storage management solutions in the e-business marketplace. For more information, access Benchmark’s web site at http://www.BenchmarkTape.com .
CALDERA AND SCO DEAL NEARLY FINALIZED
San Diego, CA — Linux distributor Caldera is one step closer to purchasing SCO’s Unix business, lock, stock, & barrel. Sources close to the negotiations report that Caldera top brass and board of directors, along with SCO’s CEO Doug Michels, have signed off on the deal. Only SCO’s board needs to put pen to paper to make the deal happen. SCO hopes to announce the done deal on Tuesday, July 25, the same day that SCO is due to announce its earnings for its fiscal third quarter. Rumors of the deal have caused SCO stock volume to increase several times above its usual mid-week. Despite that, SCO, and Caldera’s, stock prices have shown little movement. No dollar figure on the deal was available at press time. Particulars regarding the deal remain sketchy. What seems certain, though, is that Caldera will end up with SCO’s e-Business Server division. That, in turn, means that Caldera will get the Unix trademark; both shipping versions of UnixWare; SCO Open Server 5 Unix; and oversight of the older, no-longer-commercial versions of Unix. It also seems that Tarantella, SCO’s remote application middleware, may yet end up going to Caldera as well, but sources were less clear on this.
Caldera also is expected to pick up SCO’s other Unix partnerships, including the IBM-dominated Monterey project devoted to creating a universal 32/64-bit Unix that will run on Intel’s IA-64 Itanium. While some observers have commented that a Linux company suddenly becoming a Unix power could upset such alliances, Caldera already has partnership relationships with IBM of its own ( http://www.zdnet.com/sp/stories/news/0,4538,2554830,00.html ). IBM is investing in Linux for the long haul, as further evidenced by its announcement Friday to spend $200 million in Europe over the next four years to set up Linux development centers. It’s unclear if Caldera will continue to enhance and maintain the existing SCO product lines, although from a customer standpoint, that would seem to make sense. Given Caldera’s open source record, it also seems likely that some SCO Unix source code potentially could be released under an open source license. Given that Caldera will own the Unix trademark, don’t be surprised if Caldera Linux ends up being sold under the Unix brand. It’s seems a given that elements of the SCO Unix family will be incorporated into Caldera’s OpenLinux lines and vice-versa.
CNET TO BUY ZDNET FOR $1.6 BILLION IN STOCK
San Francisco, CA — Online computer information source CNET Networks Inc. said it would buy Ziff-Davis Inc.’s online business ZDNet for $1.6 billion in stock, in a bid to create a leader in providing technology information and services. Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of trade publisher Ziff-Davis stock will be converted into 0.3397 share of CNET Networks stock and each share of ZDNet stock will be converted into 0.593 shares of CNET Networks common stock. CNET said in a statement it expects to issue about 50 million shares of common stock in the deal, valuing the merger at $1.6 billion. CNET had about 85.8 million shares outstanding.
As a result, holders of Ziff-Davis stock will hold about 35 percent of the combined equity. Softbank Corp., which owns a majority of the voting stock of Ziff-Davis, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the deal. Prior to the completion of the merger and as a condition to the deal, Ziff-Davis, as previously announced, will spin off its trade show and conference business and the publisher expects to pay a cash dividend of about $2.50 per Ziff-Davis share to its stockholders. The spinoff and cash dividend are expected to be completed in mid-August.
3DLABS AND FORMAC COLLABORATE
Sunnyvale, CA — 3Dlabs, Inc. announced that it has further strengthened its strategic relationship with Formac by collaborating to assist Formac in bringing its new ProFormance 4 board to market. This board uses 3Dlabs’ GLINT Gamma G2 and dual 128-bit GLINT R3 processors to bring industrial-strength, high-end workstation graphics to Apple’s Power Macintosh. As previously announced, 3Dlabs sells its silicon to selected board manufacturers, such as Formac, to enable additive and complementary markets. The Proformance 4 is expected to commence shipment at the end of Q3, 2000. Designed for use in any AGP-based Mac, the ProFormance 4 is a high-end, workstation graphics board capable of flawlessly accelerating the most demanding 3D design applications. The board uses two GLINT R3 processors and a single GLINT Gamma G2 geometry processor that accelerates 100% of the OpenGL geometry and lighting pipeline in silicon, to implement a high-performance, industrial-strength 256-bit graphics accelerator. The ProFormance 4’s flexible dual-processor architecture and 64MB of on-board memory allows the board to be used in two modes. In single screen mode both processors are efficiently focused into one frame buffer for maximum rasterization performance. In dual screen mode, the ProFormance 4 can directly drive two independent displays each with a dedicated rasterizer, effectively acting as two high end 32MB graphics boards.
In addition to robust OpenGL performance, the ProFormance 4 board provides video acceleration, including MPEG-2 motion compensation and YUV to RGB conversion in hardware. The ProFormance 4 also provides full connectivity for LVDS, DVI and VGA standards with two exchangeable modules and a connector for Formac’s ProCyber 3D virtual reality glasses. ProCyber 3D allows users to run even the most complex 3D modeling and rendering applications flicker free in virtual reality. “3Dlabs are the market leaders in professional graphics on the Windows platform – and we are pleased to be able to add our expertise to bring their technology to Mac,” said Oliver Bergmann, CEO of Formac Electronic Inc. “The power of the 3Dlabs silicon is awesome. Mac users have never before had access to 3Dlabs’ high-end workstation graphics acceleration and we believe this board will transform the Mac into a platform capable of running the most demanding 3D authoring applications.” “With the resurgence of the Mac platform, the imminent arrival of OS X and industrial-strength 3D applications such as Maya, we expect to see significant demand for true workstation-grade graphics on the Mac platform,” said Neil Trevett, vice president of marketing at 3Dlabs. “Formac’s hardware design technical expertise and driver capabilities make them an excellent partner for 3Dlabs to empower the Apple Macintosh user with our no compromise professional graphics processors.” Visit http://www.formac.com or http://www.3dlabs.com for more information.
VIXEL ANNOUNCES COLLABORATION WITH NETWORK APPLIANCE
Bothell, WASH. — Vixel Corporation, a leading provider of Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions, announced today a technology collaboration with Network Appliance, Inc., the leading provider of network- attached data access and content management solutions, focused on extending the scalability, performance, and manageability of Fibre Channel storage solutions. At the core of this collaboration is Vixel’s Hydra ‘loop switch on a chip’ ASIC technology. Network Appliance is working with Vixel to enhance the Hydra ASIC technology for use in embedded storage systems, enabling Network Appliance to provide larger scale storage solutions and enhance the performance and resiliency of Fibre Channel loops.
“Vixel’s ASIC technology enables Network Appliance to provide larger, more scalable systems which meet the levels of performance and availability required by our customers’ most demanding applications,” said Mark Santora, senior vice president of marketing at Network Appliance. “Our collaboration with Vixel reflects another milestone in Network Appliance’s effort to deliver multivendor interoperability and simple solutions to customers.” “Over the course of the last eight months, we have been working together with Network Appliance to validate opportunities for the two companies to capitalize on each others’ respective strengths and technologies. Now, with this partnership in place, we can go forward to create solutions and bring them to market,” said Jim McCluney, president and CEO, Vixel Corporation. “Network Appliance’s position of leadership in the network-attached storage field and reputation for innovation are well recognized, and their choice of Vixel as a technology partner underscores the viability of our Hydra ASIC technology. For Vixel, this partnership also serves to validate our strategy of leveraging our technologies into new applications and areas of functionality.” Visit http://www.vixel.com for more information.
DELL ENTERS INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH QUANTUM
San Jose, CA — Quantum Corporation’s DLT and Storage Systems Group’s Server Appliances Division, the market leader in the workgroup network attached storage (NAS) market, announced today a strategic relationship with Dell Computer to collaborate on future storage products. “Dell and Quantum plan to reach new customer markets and explore new directions in product development,” said Anders Axelsson, vice president and general manager for Quantum’s Server Appliances Division. “Together, we seek to grow the workgroup NAS market opportunities beyond analyst forecasts as we apply our collective strengths to category awareness and adoption.” According to a recent study conducted by PC Data, Quantum currently has 85 percent market share in the workgroup NAS market. Dataquest projects the NAS market to reach $6.5 billion by 2003.
“We see a very attractive market opportunity to extend our NAS products to a broader set of customers and look forward to collaborating with Quantum in this effort,” said Kevin Reinis, vice president and general manager of PowerVault storage for Dell’s Enterprise Systems Group. Founded in 1980, Quantum Corporation ( http://www.quantum.com ) is a leading storage supplier in six of the seven markets it serves: desktop hard disk drives, tape drives, network attached storage (NAS) appliances, solid state systems, hard disk drive applications for consumer electronics, and DLTtape automation systems. Quantum is also a leading supplier of high-end hard disk drives. In 1999 Quantum became the first Silicon Valley company to issue tracking stock, replacing its existing common stock with the ticker symbols DSS and HDD, which track the separate performance of the company’s DLT and Storage Systems and Hard Disk Drive businesses. Both stocks are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Selling its products through OEM and distribution channels worldwide, Quantum’s sales for the fiscal year ending March 2000 were $1.4 billion for Quantum’s DLT and Storage Systems Group and $3.3 billion for Quantum’s Hard Disk Drive Group.
3DLABS, REAL TIME VISUALIZATION IN PACT
Sunnyvale, CA — 3Dlabs and Real Time Visualization (RTVIZ), a division of Mitsubishi Electric, announced a technical and marketing collaboration to tightly integrate the products of both companies. this collaboration is expected to enable a new class of advanced visualization applications that require the seamless blending of polygonal graphics and voxel-based volumetric rendering. the first results of this collaboration will be optimized drivers from 3dlabs for its Oxygen family of professional graphics accelerators that enable the real-time integrated display of opengl graphics and volumes rendered on rtviz volumepro” accelerators. these drivers are expected to ship from 3dlabs in the third quarter of 2000. both companies are actively investigating longer-term board and silicon level inter-operability of their product lines. Voxels (volume elements) represent the internal structure of objects acquired from real world sample data such as CT, MRI, Ultrasound, sonic, radar and other discrete acquisition methods. Polygons define surface characteristics and are represented as geometrical mesh triangles. Users have long desired the ability to render and visualize both primitives together in real time. For example, doctors need to visualize the scalpel (polygons) inside the brain (voxels) and geologists need to visualize well-head data (polygons) inside the earth’s fault subsurface strata (voxels) as they search for oil.
“The merging of polygonal and voxel techniques establishes the next significant advance in 3D graphics technology – enabling a wide range of advanced vertical applications on the PC,” said Jamie Jacobs, General Manager of Real Time Visualization. “3Dlabs’ leadership in professional graphics and their responsiveness to the requirements of integrated 3D graphics makes them the natural partner for us as we undertake this new initiative that will leverage the technology leadership of both companies.” “RTViz is the undisputed leader in hardware accelerated volume rendering with the highly innovative VolumePro architecture and we are delighted to work closely with this highly-regarded team,” said Neil Trevett, vice president of marketing, 3Dlabs. “We will be working hard to support the needs of RTViz and to enable end-users, integrators and OEMs leverage the power of interactive, real-time, seamlessly integrated voxel and polygonal rendering.”
NVIDIA AND ELSA FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
New Orleans, LA — NVIDIA Corporation and ELSA AG announced the formation of a strategic partnership in the workstation graphics market. NVIDIA and ELSA signed a letter of intent to combine their workstation expertise to build a complete line of industry leading professional workstation products. The two companies will jointly market a complete line of workstation products, designed and built by NVIDIA. NVIDIA will market directly to all major OEMs, while ELSA will receive the worldwide exclusive distribution rights to market to all other channels, including system integrators, value-added resellers and distributors. As part of the partnership, ELSA’s workstation graphics engineering team will join NVIDIA. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “ELSA is a recognized leader in professional workstation graphics solutions. This partnership is a crucial step in NVIDIA’s plan to transform the workstation industry,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “We intend to combine ELSA’s experience and knowledge of the workstation markets with our industry leading graphics technology to offer a world class family of products that solve the challenging graphics needs of the visualization, animation, and CAD professionals.”
“The combination of our extensive workstation experience and NVIDIA’s breakthrough technology is unbeatable,” stated Theo Beisch, president and CEO of ELSA AG. “This agreement will enable ELSA to access the best technology in the world and timely deliver cutting-edge graphics solutions to workstation professionals world wide. This exclusive partnership will enable ELSA to utilize our worldwide brand and channel presence to more efficiently service our growing international customer base.”
ITI AND TECH SOFT AMERICA ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
Alameda, CA — Tech Soft America (TSA), a leading provider of OEM graphics technology to the CAD/CAM/CAE industry and developers of the popular HOOPS 3DAF announced a partnership with International TechneGroup Incorporated (ITI), the world’s leading provider of product data interoperability solutions. ITI and Tech Soft have completed an integration of their respective CADScript and HOOPS 3D Application Framework software components. The combination of these tools gives developers a powerful set of components for building applications with full CAD data access and advanced visualization for Windows, Unix, Linux or the web. Specific extensions for client/server architectures and 3D data streaming make these components particularly well suited for the engineering software industry’s next generation of web-centric products.
The Hoops 3D Application Framework (HOOPS/3dAF) provides a flexible architectural foundation, based upon a suite of modular application components, which enables the rapid development of design, visualization, and engineering applications for Windows, Unix, Linux and the web. HOOPS is used in over 100 commercial CAD/CAM/CAE and Scientific Visualization applications. New HOOPS Internet Tools extensions to HOOPS/3dAF further extend TSA’s tools to enable robust web-based applications. CADScript is a revolutionary new technology providing CAD application software developers with one common, easy-to-use, scripting API that allows direct access to native CAD data and functionality via the run-time API of each supported CAD system. CADScript currently supports CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, SDRC I-DEAS Master Series, Unigraphics, and any Parasolid-based system. “Both native CAD data access and visualization are key components for any downstream CAx application. Many of our CADScript customers were looking for an easy-to-use, advanced component to handle the development of their visual front-end, whether that be for Windows, Unix, or the web. We are pleased to partner with such a proven provider of component tools to help deliver a rich end-to-end solution that will help our OEM customers rapidly deliver advanced applications,” Don Hemmelgam, Sr. Vice President & General Manager of ITI’s Product Data Interoperability business.