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SGI Debuts Dual Head Option for Octane2

(December 10, 2001)
SGI today announced new display technologies that extend the current capabilities of the Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstation. The introduction of the Dual Head option and PowerDuo capability for Octane2 provides new graphics power and display versatility to this high-performance IRIX OS-based system. With the new Dual Head option, customers can drive two high-performance, texture-intensive graphics heads from the same Octane2 system; drive up to four monitors from a single system with the addition of the Dual Channel Display option; or enjoy the cost benefits of two users sharing the same richly configured system with the new PowerDuo option.

The latest enhancements to Octane2 are tailored to customers who seek to maximize the use of their system for visualizing images and large 3D datasets more efficiently and with greater productivity. The new capabilities can also be leveraged by customers who seek cost-effective access to higher-performance computing resources via innovative system sharing and off-peak-hour processing.

Dual Head Doubles the Graphics Visualization Capabilities

The Octane2 Dual Head option doubles the pixel real estate available to creative and technical professionals who are visualizing and interpreting large amounts of data as they explore the best oil drilling opportunities, diagnose complex medical problems, break new ground in research, design cars in record times, or create spectacular movie effects. Octane2 with the new Dual Head option is supported with two high-performance SGI(TM) VPro(TM) graphics options (either two V10 or two V12 graphics boards). With the new Dual Head option, the two graphics heads in a single Octane2 system drive two independent images over two displays. This feature also provides dual-screen stereo display, support for high-bandwidth application performance and asymmetric display application support. With the V12 graphics option, Octane2 delivers abundant texture memory of 104MB on each display to provide the advanced visualization particularly sought by the energy and sciences industries.

Octane2, with the new innovative display options, provides customers with the flexibility and performance they need for advanced data modeling and analysis applications. One display can continuously display complex visual information such as seismic data, while the other display can be reserved for the user interactions required to analyze and update the visual data.

Dual Head Combined with Dual Channel Display Drives Up to Four Displays

An Octane2 V12 system with the Dual Head option can also be combined with the Dual Channel Display option to drive three or four displays for more screen real estate for visualization and workflow management. With the Dual Head option, customers get an additional graphics head or pipe; with the Dual Channel Display option, a single graphics pipe is delivered to two displays. This combination of the Dual Head and Dual Channel Display capabilities also supports a single image on a matrix display of monitors or a large screen display with the support of the SGI(TM) OpenGL Multipipe(TM) SDK software API. These products provide flexibility for Octane2 customers to drive a number of display combinations with the same configuration. For example, an Octane2 V12 workstation with the Dual Head option equipped with the Dual Channel Display option on each head can drive four mono-display monitors with two separate images or a single combined display. The same system can be set to power stereo on a single display in combination with two mono-displays.

PowerDuo Provides Economical Access to a High-Performance System

The introduction of the Octane2 PowerDuo configuration, the only UNIX desktop system that supports two simultaneous users on a dual-processor workstation with separate displays, keyboards and mice, significantly lowers customers' hardware and administrative costs per seat. PowerDuo leverages the robust architecture of Octane2 in combination with the advanced capabilities of the IRIX operating system to offer economies of a shared high-performance system that can do double-duty after hours as a fully-dedicated processing resource. The high-bandwidth and symmetric multiprocessing capabilities of Octane2 allow two users to work simultaneously at full speed without interruption. Users also have the benefit of utilizing the full power of the high-performance system for large rendering operations or large assembly review.

New Octane2 Display Features At-a-Glance

Octane2, built on the unsurpassed SGI crossbar switch design, delivers high-performance graphics in a high-bandwidth system for maximum performance and interactivity with critical data transfers, such as loading a 3D model from memory to the screen or processing high-definition video images in real time. The 1.0GB-per-second peak main memory bandwidth and 1.6GB-per-second peak bandwidth between subsystems ensure that users experience smooth, fluid operations while completing even the most complex tasks. In addition, the Octane2 workstation's 8GB memory capacity provides the ability to handle large data sets for more accurate analysis in less time. Additional high-performance features include:

  • Two independent graphics or stereo graphics displays delivered by the Dual Head option

  • Increased pixel display with 104MB of texture on each display with the Dual Head option for Octane2 V12

  • Ability to drive up to four monitors powered by a single Octane2 workstation when the Dual Head option is combined with Dual Channel Display option

  • Ability for two users, with a PowerDuo configuration, to share a dual-processor Octane2 workstation with separate displays, keyboards and mice for a high-performance, cost-effective method of sharing advanced computing resources

  • 48-bit RGBA (red, green, blue, alpha) color, double-buffered with a 16-bit Z buffer

  • Support for a range of resolutions from 640x486 at 30 Hz to 1920x1200 at 60 Hz and 1920x1024 at 72 Hz

    Pricing and Availability

    Octane2 Dual Head option includes a graphics board and additional monitor and is available immediately as an upgrade to existing Octane2 customers or as a new Octane2 configuration bundle. The Octane2 Dual Head upgrade is priced at $14,500 (U.S. list) with V10 graphics with 32MB graphics memory on each head and $16,500 (U.S. list) with V12 graphics with 128MB graphics memory on each head. A new Octane2 workstation configured with V12 graphics, the Dual Head option, 512MB system memory and two monitors is priced at $43,295 (U.S. list). Available in January, the PowerDuo configuration includes two V10 graphics boards with 32MB graphics memory, two 400MHz MIPS processors, two 10,000 RPM drives, 2GB system memory, two monitors, two keyboards, two mice and cables and is priced at $47,795 (U.S. list).

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