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Briefings: August 2004

By DE Editors

New Intel Xeon Processor-based Platform Gains Fans

The availability of Intel’s new Xeon processors with EM64T technology (EM stands for extended memory) has opened the floodgates of workstation developers looking to get new machines to market. At press time, Dell and HP had announced workstations based on the new core architecture. (See below for the latest news from Dell and visit DE‘s New Products section to read HP’s announcement.) EM64T spells faster processing, greater graphics, and scads of storage. Look for other workstation announcements to follow.

Intel’s decision to go the 64-bit with 32-bit support route (see DE, June 2004) looks intended, at least partially, to parry AMD’s move with its Opteron chip. After a failed attempt to keep the Intel development under wraps last winter, the EM technology, and its hardware adherents, are now being backed by the software guys.

UGS recently announced its support for the platform, saying its NX 2 and Parasolid V16.0 products currently work on the chip. This offers users 32-bit performance with the promise of 64-bit potency in the future.

UGS’s in-house testing has validated improved application performance, greater system bandwidth, and the elimination of graphics I/O bottlenecks using the new EM technology. And the 64-bit extension will enable customers to deploy 64-bit applications leveraging terabytes of memory.

According to UGS, it worked closely with Intel to ensure its MCAD, CAM, and CAE applications as well as its geometric solid modeling kernel would support the current and future Intel Xeon-based workstations as 32-bit applications. And that collaboration will extend to future releases of its software products to take advantage of the 64-bit extensions and terabytes of memory.

In the meantime, Microsoft is looking at a 64-bit OS that will support both Xeon and Opteron. Apple, of course, already offers 64-bit computing. And did I mention Unix/Linux systems? Still, WinTel moving aggressively into the 64-bit arena can only mean a paradigm shift in engineering workstations and software.


Intel Corp.

<>UGS Corp.
 ugs.com SURFCAM Certified As SolidWorks Product Partner

Surfware Inc., maker of SURFCAM CAM software, received SolidWorks Certified CAM Product status. The SolidWorks Certified CAM Partner Program accelerates design-to-manufacture processes by promoting interoperability between the SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software environment and CAM software.

Surfware, Inc.

TS-WAVE 4.0 reduces time and costs developing customized time-series visualizations

Visual Numerics, Inc. recently announced the availability of version 4.0 of its graphical development environment for building visual analyses of complex time-series data, TS-WAVE. TS-WAVE 4.0, an add-on feature of Visual Numerics’s PV-WAVE family of visual data analysis products, now includes a complete set of data management and display techniques for visualizing time-based data, such as that collected in the aerospace industry for flight and range test analysis and by satellite ground stations.

TS-WAVE 4.0 offers several new features and enhancements that should reduce the time and costs associated with developing, testing, and maintaining time series and telemetry data analysis applications. Among these is an ASCII-to-binary converter that enables engineers to convert an ASCII file to a general-purpose binary file and evaluate TS-WAVE without a custom data handler. With 4.0, users can now work with multiple pages in a single session, share all data sources, and create reports with pages in a single template.

A new Private User Resources option lets you control the user interface default settings, giving you a custom set of resources. TS-WAVE 4.0 also offers improved performance for writing tabular files, letting you pick ranges of data to include in the tabular file, and giving you more control of tabular file headers and format.

Additional ease-of-use features include advanced color handling, improved graph attributes interface, the ability to view data values on selected graphs interactively, and the capability to develop templates for standard reports as required by government agencies such as the FAA. The new version is easily customizable to handle proprietary data formats and runs on Windows NT/2000/XP, Red Hat Linux 7.2 and 9.0, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP HP-UX, HP Tru64 Unix, and SGI IRIX platforms. Prices begin at $4,895 for a single end-user developer seat.

Visual Numerics, Inc.

Lattice3D Adds Design Data Security Capabilities

Lattice3D, OmniTrust Security Systems, Inc., and Nomura Research Institute (NRI) have created the 3D Protected Browser, a Web browser protection system that prevents the unauthorized copying and publishing of MCAD/CAM design data as it is being shared and viewed.

3D Protected Browser protects proprietary design data from being captured and misused by individuals who might be exposed to it through the design review or bid processes, so manufacturers can feel more secure when valuable data assets are revealed to others in the supply chain. The need for this product has developed from the rapid rise in outsourcing of manufacturing, which requires that valuable and confidential design data be sent out of the company.

The new capability also enables secure but rapid network and email-based publishing and sharing of 3D MCAD data through the use of Lattice3D’s XVL compression. 3D MCAD design data typically results in huge files, but XVL can compress the data in a loss-less form to approximately 1/100, allowing it to be easily shared between divisions within a company.

Available as simple HTML and Web server plug-ins, 3D Protected Browser enables employees to view customer design information on their screens, and to input data into fields, but not print, copy, save, or capture onscreen. When viewing 3D MCAD data using XVL Protected Browser, users can set up controls to prevent screen capture, file saving, and printing.

The solution is an add-on component to the Protected Browser product recently announced by OmniTrust Security Systems. Protected Browser prevents employees with access to confidential customer information, such as bank records, credit cards, and social security numbers, from capturing or otherwise misusing this information. “Manufacturers must collaborate and share MCAD and other design data in order to reap the benefits of collaborative design,” says OmniTrust President and CEO, Michael Mansouri. “However, it is increasingly easy for people to steal such confidential information, leading to compromised competitive advantage among many other problems. We developed Protected Browser out of popular demand to help address this growing problem.”

3D Protected Browser supports Windows 2000, XP, and Internet Explorer V 5.01 or later. On the server side, the product supports SPARC Solaris8 or later, Apache 1.3.2X, Windows NT4.0, 2000, and IIS5.0,5.1. North American pricing ranges from $20 to $50 per seat depending on volume.

For more on Lattice3D, read this month’s feature from contributing editor Louise Elliott titled: Reaching Past V&M for Effective Collaboration.


OmniTrust Security

Nomura Research Institute

Dell Rolls Out New Workstations with intel Xeon 64-Bit chip

Dell Inc. has introduced two Dell Precision workstations based on Intel’s new core architecture designed for greater processor, graphics, and storage performance. The Dell Precision 470 and 670 also debut new processor technology that brings users the power of 64-bit computing with the ability to efficiently run all of today’s 32-bit applications.

Powered by the new Intel Xeon processors with EM64T technology, the dual processor-capable 470 and 670 enable more performance-intensive design applications to manipulate larger, more complex visual models in sharp detail by breaking past the 4GB memory barrier, accessing up to 16GB of memory. Their compatibility with legacy 32-bit applications will allow engineers to deploy a 64-bit operating system and still run 32-bit applications across the entire enterprise.

In addition to 64-bit computing, the new systems integrate a full suite of new technologies that deliver more performance and headroom for future scalability. The new platforms include DDR2, next generation memory architecture, and PCI Express, a serial I/O architecture. DDR2 optimizes the desktop architecture by satisfying the increased demands of faster processors, sophisticated graphics, and I/O subsystems. PCI Express can quadruple graphics bandwidth, and improve internal data connections.

The workstations offer new acoustic technologies that deliver a nearly silent, office-ready solution capable of server-class performance. Each supports RAID to help break storage bottlenecks (up to 800GB solutions) and is available with Windows XP Pro (32-bit) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (32- and 64-bit). The Dell Precision 670 starts at $1,699 and the Dell Precision 470 starts at $1,399.

Dell Computer Corp.

DWF Viewer To See in 3D

Autodesk has announced 3D model support for its(Design Web Format (DWF) for sharing design, engineering, and mapping information. 3D model sharing functionality will be available in an upcoming release of the company’s free, downloadable viewer software, Autodesk DWF Viewer 5. Availability was expected in mid-July in conjunction with the release of Autodesk’s flagship mechanical design application Inventor 9.

DWF Viewer enables manufacturers, engineers, and architects to reduce costs by streamlining processes to more efficiently create, manage, and share design data. It enables users to navigate, view, and print design information. With the addition of 3D capabilities, DWF Viewer 5 enables full visual and printing fidelity of the original 3D Inventor models, but at a much more manageable size-often 1/25 the size of the original Inventor model.

Autodesk, Inc.

MSC.SimManager Expands Simulation Processes

MSC.Software Corp. announced the immediate availability of MSC.SimManager 2004 r2. Formerly called MSC.SDM, MSC.SimManager automates the execution of simulation processes and captures all intermediate and resulting data.

MSC.SimManager 2004 r2 provides significant new automation capabilities to further enhance the productivity of simulation engineers. For example, it includes new features and enhancements that enable engineers to set up simulation processes, conduct simulations, quickly evaluate results, iterate through multiple design what-if scenarios, and provide meaningful feedback to the design team.

Among the new features is a Web-based report generator that provides the ability to interactively collate and annotate data into a single report. New advanced capabilities for execution and interactive configuration of trade studies enables engineers to perform rapid, simulation-based what-if evaluations of different product configurations by varying design parameters in an automated and systematic way.

MSC.SimManager 2004 r2 now offers support for such IBM technologies as WebSphere Application Server, DB2 Universal Database, and the AIX 5L operating system. It also now supports Red Hat Linux on Intel-based servers.

MSC.SimManager 2004 r2 deploys as a web-based enterprise simulation portal. This gives companies collaborative, enterprise-wide access to model and simulation data as well as delivers crucial product performance knowledge earlier in the design cycle. In turn, this allows engineers to perform automated simulations, evaluate design changes, and generate comparative reports to determine optimal design configurations, all of which increases the return on investment of existing simulation tools and systems and boosts process productivity.

MSC.Software Corp.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.