Workgroup Visualization System Delivers Four Times the Geometry Performance of SGI Infinite-Reality Systems At Half the Cost

2/11/2003 - The Sun Fire[tm] V880z visualization system, Sun's first workgroup system powered by Solaris[tm] and the new high-end Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator. The new system combines advanced 3D graphics features with a Solaris-based Sun Fire V880 server, providing a high-end visualization system in a compact form-factor, at less than half the price of competitor systems.

Designed to power high-end 3D applications, the new system's advanced capabilities and aggressive price points are targeted across several industries, including automotive manufacturing, aerospace design, oil and gas exploration, and medical research.

"We're passing the the price and performance advantages of Sun's powerful innovations on to customers. Today we are changing the economics of high-end graphics, opening new market opportunities for Sun and its customers and partners," said Clark Masters, executive vice president, Enterprise Systems Products, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

"Visualizing and modeling complex data sets is more important than ever in product development, quality testing and scientific research. With our new offerings, Sun has removed the traditional price barriers, and we're showing customers that they can affordably deploy high-quality, high-performance visualization solutions."

Industry Leaders Find New Applications for Sun's Advanced Technology
The EDS Virtual Reality Center in Troy, Mich., is equipped with Sun's new Sun Fire V880z visualization system. As part of an alliance with Sun, the EDS Virtual Reality Center will provide professional services to support Sun visualization and graphics installations at client sites. Robert Mehall, business leader at the EDS Virtual Reality Center, said, "Deploying new technologies is a big part of what clients expect from EDS. With global delivery capabilities, EDS is uniquely positioned to work with the Sun team to provide consulting, implementation and ongoing support for high-end visualization solutions."

"The Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin is using a Sun Fire V880z visualization system in its ACES Visualization Laboratory to do visualization for a range of applications including computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics and geophysical modeling," said Dr. Kelly Gaither, associate director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center. "We'll be using the Sun Fire V880z visualization system to perform complex rendering and multiprocessing of graphics and images for researchers in a diverse range of fields. The speed of graphics and superior image quality of the Sun Fire V880z visualization system will play a significant role in these key areas of technology and research."

"Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Applications Center (ISU/VRAC) supports nearly 200 people including professors and students for research projects and technology transfers," said Carolina Cruz-Neira, associate director, VRAC at Iowa State University. "Sun's new Sun Fire V880z visualization system will help ISU's VRAC and its corporate partners in the consumer products, automotive, energy, transportation and agricultural equipment industries, simulate 'what if' scenarios with real-time graphics."

IDC's Kara Yokley, research manager, Workstations and High-Performance Systems, commented, "Sun's new XVR-4000 graphics accelerator creates new high-end market opportunities for Sun. The new system expands Sun's graphics offerings from entry-level 3D graphics, to personal visualization and now workgroup visualization servers. We believe this technology will be particularly interesting for departmental usage and should expand Sun's addressable market opportunity in such industries as oil and gas, automotive, and aerospace."

Sun Delivers Maximum Visual Quality at Minimum Cost
Sun's new Solaris-based system is priced at less than half the cost of an equivalent SGI Infinite-Reality system(1), while providing up to four times better geometry performance and visual quality. The XVR-4000 graphics accelerator is a MAJC architecture-based, multi-chip rendering machine designed to meet the needs of industrial-strength 3D applications.

Key Facts

Pricing and Availability
The base configuration of the Sun Fire V880z visualization system with a single Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator includes two 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors, 4 GB memory, and six 73 GB FCAL disk drives. It is available today starting at $64,995.00 list price, orderable directly from Sun and authorized Sun resellers. For more information go to

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, the Sun logo, Sun Microsystems, Solaris and Java are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.

1) Price comparisons based on pricing for an entry-level Sun Fire V880z visualization server at $64,995 U.S. list price, compared to pricing for a similarly configured SGI Onyx 300, IR4 system at $143,000 (Source D.H. Brown Associates SGI pricing,, as of 01/20/03.)

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