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Workstation has 10-foot screen

HP will unveil extreme-performance computing systems for creating life-sized models of cars and aircraft parts.

Hewlett-Packard today will unveil extreme-performance computing systems that will allow designers and engineers to create life-sized models of cars and aircraft parts.

One product consists of a workstation with three separate 3D graphics pipelines hooked to the same 10-foot by 3-foot high-resolution screen. Another links three workstations to the same-sized screen.

The HP Vizualize Center and the HP Vizualize Workgroup solutions are aimed at expanding HP's share in the most performance-intensive segments of the Unix workstation market, according to Barry Crume, product marketing manager in the Unix workstation division at HP.

These systems will allow for "immersive vizualization computing," Crume said.

Silicon Graphics has historically been the leader in this market. Last year, however, HP began to standardize the hardware components in an effort to lower prices and take market share, Crume said. For instance, the Vizualize systems being announced are derivatives of Vizualize workstations released last year.

Although less expensive than those of its competitors, the new HP systems are far from cheap. The less-expensive workgroup solution starts at $274,000. It comes with a single HP workstation, the Workgroup ViewStation monitor, 1GB of memory, and two 9GB disks. The three-workstation solution sells for $460,000.

Still, that is less than the equivalent system from SGI, which might sell for $1 million, according to Crume.

The market now consists of three to four machines per month, Crume said, but HP hopes to expand it.