[rescue] SGI Onyx4 - uses ATI graphics chips (sigh)

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Mon Jul 14 01:53:46 CDT 2003

Patrick Giagnocavo +1.717.201.3366 wrote:

> Personally I have always considered ATI kind of low-end in terms of
> their engineers' ability to design graphics cards.  They were sort of
> the the Microsoft of graphics companies.

More importantly when did ATI's top of the line chips equal SGI's?

If SGI can take off the shelf graphics boards, off the shelf CPU's
and an off the shelf operating system (Linux) and make them do what
their custom graphics chips, MIPS processors and Irix does, at half
the price, then everybody wins.

For example, my previous employer spent by my guess between $10m and $100m
to develop an ASIC to run their algorythms on. They did it because
at the time the company was started there was no way to do it for under
$100 a unit with off the shelf components.

The ASIC was supposed to be ready for it's first production run June 30th.
I have no idea if they did it or not.

Having done research for a company I'm starting, I found that the whole
thing can be built NOW with off the shelf components for about $20 for
the electronics.

Two things have happened:

1. Off the shelf components such as processors etc, have become fast 
   and cheap.

2. Analog interfaces which required expensive A->D convertors have been
   replaced with cheap digital (USB, firewire) ones.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com 972-54-608-069
Do sysadmins count networked sheep?

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