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Silicon Graphics Revolutionizes the Power of Visual Computing

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High-Bandwidth S2MP Scalable Architecture Enables Lower Price Points and Quantum Performance Leap Through Parallel Rendering

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:SGI) today announced a new era of visual supercomputing with the Onyx2TM product line. Onyx2 systems offer industry-leading InfiniteRealityTM graphics on a new, high-bandwidth computer architecture -- offering the ability to deliver orders of magnitude faster graphics than the company's renowned Onyx® graphics supercomputers. Based on the company's S2MPTM scalable shared-memory multiprocessor architecture, announced separately today, Onyx2 offers a highly scalable design and extraordinary rendering capabilities. In addition, the Onyx2 line introduces a breakthrough entry price point, making the company's high-end graphics systems, previously considered out of reach to many, much more accessible.

"We are once again raising the bar on graphics performance." said Ed McCracken, chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. "What's more, with the new entry price points, we moved the performance of graphics supercomputing to the high-end workstation space, opening up whole new markets and applications for this technology."

Announced earlier this year, InfiniteReality graphics simultaneously process graphics, imaging, and video data in real time, and is designed to tackle the most demanding visual computing, challenges. At this new price, InfiniteReality is accessible to broader markets including industrial design, manufacturing, entertainment, oil and gas, visual simulation and computer-aided design (CAD). The S2MP architecture provides breakthrough scalablity in bandwidth, I/O performance and graphics over conventional computer designs. This high-bandwidth, low latency system design

enables, for the first time, multiple independent graphics pipelines to be used in parallel to render complex scenes. A new multipipe configuration called Onyx2 RealityMonsterTM delivers over 80 million polygons per second and has a pixel fill rate of over 5.3 billion textured, anti-aliased pixels per second. For complex visualization applications, Onyx2 RealityMonster is up to eight times faster than the current Onyx platform, previously the world's fastest graphics system.

Silicon Graphics created the Onyx2 RealityTM system in response to market demand for a low cost, advanced graphics multiprocessor workstation. This new graphics workstation, based on InfiniteReality technology, provides a previously unavailable multiprocessor system for market segments such as mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) and imaging, benefiting professionals such as auto designers, radiologists and defense analysts.

To provide users with the latest in state-of-the-art technology, Silicon Graphics is incorporating new digital media capabilities for film, video, audio and broadcast applications. The Onyx2 Digital Video Option (DIVO) routes multiple video and audio streams to and from system memory, providing users with a powerful solution for manipulating live video and computer graphics. Standard on every Onyx2 system are ten channels of digital audio with stereo analog audio and powered speakers.

Creating the most compelling visual display possible, Silicon Graphics, in collaboration with Sony Corporation, has redefined high-tech monitor standards with a new format SuperWideTM Monitor. Shipped with all Onyx2 InfiniteReality systems, the SuperWide Monitor sets the stage for a new ultra-high-resolution monitor standard in computer graphics with a 1920 X 1200 non-interlaced color pixel resolution display for increased image quality and screen workspace.

"Creative visual professionals can look forward to viewing even more of their work at once, immersing them into the display," continued McCracken. "We're excited to have been able to work with Sony to bring this new standard to the marketplace."

Key Markets

The S2MP scalable architecture unleashes the full power of InfiniteReality graphics and revolutionizes performance in key graphics markets. These include visual simulation, imaging, film, video and engineering analysis, all of which require intensive compute and graphics capabilities to meet demands in their respective competitive marketplaces. As the world's leading visual supercomputer system, Onyx2 allows technical and creative professionals to concurrently process different types of visual data in real time. InfiniteReality graphics running on the economically scalable, high-bandwidth S2MP technology represent the most substantial performance leap in computer graphics to date.

Onyx2 Configuration and Availability

A scalable, high-bandwidth graphics supercomputer, Onyx2 supports up to four MIPS® R10000TM processors in the deskside models and up to 24 R10000 processors in the rack models. Systems other than Onyx2 RealityMonster are to ship Q4 of calendar year 1996. Onyx2 RealityMonster is expected to ship in the second half of calendar year1997. Base configurations include the following systems:

  • Onyx2 Reality - Mid-range Deskside System: One MIPS 180 MHz R10000 processor, 1 MB Cache, Onyx2 Reality Graphics, 64 MB RAM, 4.5 GB Hard Disk, CD-ROM, 20" Color Monitor.
  • Onyx2 InfiniteReality - High-Performance Deskside System: Two MIPS 195 MHz R10000 processors, 4 MB Cache each, InfiniteReality Graphics, 64 MB RAM, 4.5 GB Hard Disk, CD-ROM, 24" SuperWide Color Monitor.
  • Onyx2 InfiniteReality - Expandable Rack System: Two MIPS 195 MHz R10000 processors, 4 MB Cache each, InfiniteReality Graphics, 64 MB RAM, 4.5 GB Hard Disk, CD-ROM, 24" SuperWide Color Monitor.
  • Onyx2 RealityMonster - MultiRack System: Eight MIPS 195 MHz R10000 processors, 4 MB cache each, four InfiniteReality Graphics Pipelines, 256 MB RAM, 4.5 GB Hard Disk, CD-ROM, 24" SuperWide Color Monitor.

The discussion in this news release of new products and technologies contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the timely release to manufacturing, the availability of components from suppliers, the impact of competitive products and pricing, and the other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including the report Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 1996. Actual results may vary materially.