Intel will today launch a workstation division and an initiative called Platforms for Visual Computing. Both will based round an architecture, Advanced Graphics Platform, that the company claims will further consolidate the market for graphical machines based on x.86 chips.
The new unit, designed to push Intel's architecture as suitable for high end 3D graphics, is likely to foment trouble in the already crowded workstation market.
The chip giant has pulled in both Silicon Graphics and Compaq to support Platforms for Visual Computing based on the forthcoming Klamath-Pentium II daughterboard, out in early May.
This means Intel will come closer to SGI, whose Open GL graphics technology it already licenses and which will be integral to the AGP. Meanwhile, Compaq is expected to further leverage its position against leading workstation vendor Sun by formally adopting the Intel technology at a conference held in San Jose, California later today.
But Compaq?s adoption of the workstation technology could well place it in a direct fight with IBM. Sources at IBM UK said today that the company has no plans to introduce SGI technology on its machines. That is because it has its own Intel workstation strategy, formally unveiled at Cebit in Hanover two weeks ago and close in nature to the RS/6000 Risc-based workstation approach.
Intel will seek to coordinate its thrust into the workstation space with a division based in Dupont, Washington. It will pull in other manufacturers, including Cirrus Logic, to provide enhancements to the AGP as it seeks to extend its grip on the market.
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