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SGI fires up Octane workstations (1997)

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Paris (01/27/97) -- Silicon Graphics Inc. has launched its new Octane family of workstations, which it is aimed at the engineering, science, defense, and broadcast markets.

The Octane line features a new, seven-port crossbar-switch architecture and 1.6 gigabytes-per-second peak bandwidth, said Philippe Colleau, an official with Silicon Graphics France. The Octane systems are available with one or two MIPS RISC R10000 64-bit processors, running at 175 MHz or 195 MHz. Three different levels of graphics, all upgradable, are available: the S1 (with 120 million pixels-per-second fill rate); the SS1 (with 240 million pixels/second fill rate) and the MXI (with 240 million pixels/second fill rate, plus 4 megabytes of texture memory). In April, the Octane line will be enhanced with new video and compression options, including the following:

  • Octane Personal Video card will be delivered with a video-conference camera.
  • Octane Digital Video card has two 10-bit channels to deliver professional quality video, used for three-dimensional special effects.
  • Octane Compression card allows users to work with two JPEG-compressed video feeds, and can be used alone or with Digital Video card.

According to an SGI statement released in the U.S., all Octane systems come standard with 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet, analog and digital audio I/O, external stereo speakers, 64 megabytes or 128 megabytes of memory, 2 gigabytes or 4 gigabytes of disk, a 20-inch monitor, and one of the three graphics options. U.S. system pricing starts at $24,995, with dual processing versions starting at $33,995.