Mercury Computer, inTrace Team for Real-Time, Ray Tracing Solution

8/3/2005 - Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced at SIGGRAPH2005 its alliance with inTrace GmbH to bring a highly advanced, real-time, comprehensive ray tracing solution to the manufacturing and industrial markets. The companies signed a worldwide (excluding Japan) distribution agreement for the flagship OpenRT ray tracing software package developed by inTrace in conjunction with the University of Saarbrucken.

Ray tracing is a 3D rendering technique based on complex mathematical algorithms that is used to produce realistic images. It traces the path taken by a ray of light through a scene, and calculates reflection, refraction, or absorption of the ray whenever it intersects the scene. OpenRT from inTrace allows for the representation of highly realistic scenes in real time, including advanced rendering effects such as exact shadows, accurate reflections, and refractions on curved surfaces. The software also allows the user to manage and display 3D geometric models with hundred of millions of polygons.

"Our alliance with inTrace is testament to Mercury's success in the 3D graphics and data visualization marketplace," said Didier Thibaud, vice president and general manager of Imaging and Visualization Solutions, Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "inTrace's ray tracing expertise will enable us to enhance Mercury's portfolio of visualization products. In combination with Mercury's sales and marketing resources, we'll be well positioned to accelerate time to market with in-depth solutions for our customers."

OpenRT's solution is challenging traditional hardware-based interactive 3D graphics by combining the well-known quality and accuracy of ray tracing with real-time performance. State-of-the-art visualization techniques include dynamically animated massive models and global illumination. As a pure software implementation, OpenRT runs on any high-performance PC without special graphics hardware.

OpenRT performs well for simple scenes on a single, high-performance PC, and allows scaling both in quality and performance by distributing the computation across additional PCs. It also integrates well into existing workflows through support for the industry-standard VRML-97 file format. OpenRT is bundled with an interactive rendering viewer and authoring application from inTrace that facilitates visualization of the user's scenes, a comprehensive API which is similar to OpenGL, and several shader libraries including glass, car paint, etc.

"One of the most important paradigm shifts in design review, 3D prototype visualization, and digital mock-up is toward the increasing need for realistic rendering, scalability, and interaction. OpenRT is a key technology that enables manufacturing and industrial suppliers to meet these needs," said Michael Scherbaum, CEO of inTrace GmbH. "We chose to partner with Mercury because of their unique experience with 3D graphics, data visualization, and immersive virtual reality. No other company has as much expertise, local support, worldwide coverage, and experience in 3D graphics as Mercury."

Later this year Mercury plans to provide a transparent integration between OpenRT and Open Inventor from Mercury, to minimize development efforts. This enhancement will enable advanced ray-tracing capabilities for thousands of existing applications based on Open Inventor from Mercury.

OpenRT is applicable in numerous industries, including virtual prototyping for automotive, aerospace, and marine applications; industrial design; digital plants; advertising agencies; architecture; and digital content creation in film and video.

"We simulate the illumination as physically correct, as if real light from a spotlight would be cast onto the car," says Peter Zimmermann, chairman of the laboratory for virtual technology of Volkswagen AG. "This lifts the development of cars into a new dimension," said Martin Schlotthauer, project leader for virtual techniques of Volkswagen.

OpenRT is available on several processor architectures with Linux, including the 32-bit Intel(R) Architecture, AMD Opteron(TM), Intel(R) Xeon(TM) EMT64, and Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2. Mercury will demonstrate advanced 3D visualization solutions, including OpenRT ray tracing, in Booth 1155 at SIGGRAPH2005. For more information on OpenRT, view or download the OpenRT data sheet at

About inTrace GmbH
inTrace develops and distributes software and services for interactive 3D computer graphics. Founded in March 2003, inTrace pursued a research project initiated and directed by Prof. Slusallek, to offer an alternative real-time ray tracing solution to the current rasterization-based approach for interactive 3D graphics. As a spin-off from the University of Saarbrucken, inTrace benefits from deep experience in the context of high performance computing, cluster programming, computer graphic sciences and multimedia. For more information, visit

About Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) is the leading provider of high-performance embedded, real time digital signal and image processing computer systems. Mercury's products play a critical role in a wide range of applications, transforming sensor data to information for analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms the Company's systems process real time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data. Mercury's systems are also used in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging devices including MRI, PET, and digital X-ray, and in semiconductor imaging applications including photomask generation and wafer inspection. Mercury provides advanced 3D image processing and visualization software and optimized systems to diverse end markets including life sciences, geosciences, and simulation. The Company also provides radio frequency (RF) products for enhanced communications capabilities in military and commercial applications.

Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury serves customers in North America, Europe and Asia through its direct sales force and a network of subsidiaries and distributors. Visit Mercury on the web at and

OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Open Inventor is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphic, Inc. Mercury Computer Systems SA is source licensee of Open Inventor. VolumeViz LDM is a trademark of Mercury Computer Systems SA. Amira is a registered trademark of ZIB. Mercury Computer Systems SA is source licensee of amira. Intel(R) Architecture, Intel(R) Xeon(TM) EMT64, and Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 are trademarks and registered trademarks of Intel Corporation, or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

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