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NVIDIA, SGI and VA Linux to Bring Graphics Standard to Desktop Linux Market

 
 
Three Companies Collaborate To Deliver First Hardware-Accelerated OpenGL Conformant Desktop Graphics for Linux

For Further Information Contact:   
   
Derek Perez
NVIDIA Corporation
E-mail: dperez@nvidia.com

Brenda Hansen
SGI
bhansen@corp.sgi.com

Eureka Endo
Linux
eureka@valinux.com

For Immediate Release

SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 18, 2000 – NVIDIA™ Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), SGI (NYSE: SGI) and VA Linux Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNUX) today announced their collaboration on the industry's first professional-level OpenGL® graphics sub-system for workstations running Linux. This planned platform would be the first 100% OpenGL 1.2-conformant hardware-accelerated graphics solution to bring professional workstation graphics standards to the Linux market. Developers using Linux desktop systems equipped with the new graphics sub-system will be able to utilize the depth of the OpenGL graphics application programming interface (API) to create professional quality 2D and 3D graphics applications. The first public demonstration of the collaborative effort will be shown during LinuxWorld, February 2 –4, 2000, in New York City.

The triad's unique technology will bring to Linux desktops many of the capabilities typically associated with UNIX® systems. This technology will enable Linux systems to process rich graphics as fast, or faster, than their Microsoft® Windows®-based counterparts. The solution leverages SGI's extensive 3D graphics and OpenGL expertise, VA Linux Systems' 2D graphics and multi-monitor work and NVIDIA's proven 3D graphics hardware and software architectures. The resulting NVIDIA-based desktops will be the first to provide hardware 3D transform and lighting, hardware 2D and video acceleration, video overlay, multi-monitor capability and full native OpenGL conformance under Linux. The project will give Linux developers the ability to seamlessly integrate their applications with the industry-leading OpenGL graphics API. This graphics processing power and compatibility is a fundamental step in enabling the development of professional Linux applications such as those for manufacturing, digital content creation, electronic business, education and entertainment.

"This is a breakthrough for the Linux market," stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. "For the first time, developers will have access to a high-performance, fully native Linux graphics platform."

"It has always been a goal of Silicon Graphics to drive the pervasiveness of 3D graphics," said Drew Henry, vice president and general manager at SGI. "Developers will soon be able to leverage OpenGL as the enabling foundation for 3D acceleration on all flavors of UNIX including Linux. This technology further enables both hardware and software developers to enjoy the creative freedom of utilizing a single graphics API across all computing systems."

"We believe that exceptional graphics acceleration, with standard programming interfaces and tuned Linux driver support, could be integral to the success of Linux on the desktop." said Brian Biles, vice president of marketing at VA Linux Systems. "We are excited to collaborate with NVIDIA and SGI to help create high performance, standards-compliant products in the Linux workstation space, complementing the work we contribute to the open source community in the Mesa and XFree86 projects."

"The Linux workstation market is poised to take off quickly, as long as the number of applications continues to grow," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst for workstations at Dataquest/Gartner Group. "One of the critical factors limiting Linux applications development thus far has been the lack of OpenGL graphics support for Linux."
 
About NVIDIA
NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the world's leading supplier of performance 3D graphics processors, is the only independent top-to-bottom supplier of 3D graphics solutions for mainstream PCs. NVIDIA designs, markets and sells an award-winning family of 3D processors, delivering industry-leading performance and visual quality for a broad range of PC-based applications, including enterprise visualization, e-commerce, e-business, education and entertainment. Used by the top PC OEMs in the world, NVIDIA's products are distributed through a worldwide channel that includes PC OEM, add-in card and motherboard partners in Europe, Asia and North America. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at http://www.nvidia.com.

About SGI
SGI provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced graphics solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their toughest computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices worldwide, the company is located on the Web at www.sgi.com.

VA Linux Systems
VA Linux Systems, Inc. is the leading provider of Linux-based solutions, integrating systems, software and services. VA Linux's broad-based technical expertise in systems and software design, as well as its focus on the Linux operating system and other open source solutions, enables the company to provide high-quality Linux-based systems designed for optimal performance, reliability and scalability. VA also offers comprehensive services and support through its staff of Linux system and software engineers. VA Linux Systems is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is located on the web at http://www.valinux.com.

About OpenGL
Introduced in 1992 by SGI, OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications. A low-level, vendor-neutral software interface, OpenGL provides enormous flexibility and functionality and the broadest platform accessibility in the industry today. Applications in fields such as CAD, content creation, energy, entertainment, gaming, manufacturing, medical, visual simulation and more have benefited from the OpenGL graphics platform.

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Certain statements in this press release, including the statements relating to the Company's performance expectations for the OpenGL graphics sub-system for workstations running Linux and expectations of its performance, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to difficulties in the development process, availability of supporting software, development of competitive products, the ability of the three companies to attract and retain qualified personnel to assist in development, and industry trends relating to graphics systems and Linux. Investors are advised to read the reports that each company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and, in the case of VA Linux Systems, its Registration Statement on Form S-1; particularly those sections entitled "Factors Affecting Operating Results" or "Risk Factors" for a fuller discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
 
Notes to Editors: The recommended way of writing GeForce 256 is with an uppercase G and F, all other letters lowercase with a space between GeForce and 256. The recommended way of writing Vanta and Quadro is in title case. Please note that the recommended way of writing NVIDIA, RIVA 128, RIVA 128ZX, RIVA TNT and RIVA TNT2 is all CAPITALS. 
 
Silicon Graphics and OpenGL are registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, RIVA TNT, RIVA TNT2, NVIDIA Vanta, NVIDIA Quadro and GeForce 256 are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation. VA Linux Systems is a trademark of VA Linux Systems, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. 



 
 
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