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Sun, Nvidia Design Professional Graphics Alliance

A day after visual computing company SGI announced its relationship with ATI Technologies, competitor Nvidia is boasting about its new alliance with Sun Microsystems.

Sun has bundled Nvidia’s Quadro graphics technology into its Java Workstations running Solaris, Windows or Linux operating systems in its W1100z and W2100z models, based on the AMD Opteron processor with Direct Connect Architecture.

That means a suite of Nvidia solutions — including Quadro FX 4000, FX 3000, FX 1100, FX 500 and NVS 280 — are now available. Both Sun and Nvidia are bullish about current and future opportunities.

Improved 2D, 3D Performance

“By partnering with Nvidia, we can now deliver best-in-class graphics solutions that benefit our customers across multiple industries,” said Sun’s director of workstation product marketing Brian Healy.

Sun Java Workstations are designed to support simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing with no compromises in performance, allowing users to maintain their existing x86 infrastructure while still enabling a smooth migration to next-generation 64-bit operating systems and applications when required.

By adopting the Nvidia Quadro technology, Sun claims it can deliver across-the-board 2D and 3D performance improvements, including higher bus bandwidth, increased memory bandwidth, higher rendering speeds and the ability to deploy large data sets.

Broad Customer Target

Sun’s long-standing presence in the workstation market, now coupled with optimization of the Solaris OS for AMD Opteron systems and Nvidia’s graphics expertise, could enable the companies to drive new joint opportunities with a strong price/performance advantage.

Sun and Nvidia will target customers in graphics- and computing-intensive markets such as Oil & Gas, Life Sciences, Defense, CAD/CAM, EDA, Financial Services, Professional Digital Content Creation and Software Engineering.

“Nvidia and Sun are bringing to bear our combined expertise in industry leading workstation solutions,” said Jeff Fisher, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Nvidia. “The net effect is the delivery of outstanding performance and value to customers, especially those who benefit from 64-bit processing and the highest performance application-tuned graphics.”

Smart Move for Sun

Yankee Group senior analyst Dana Gardner told LinuxInsider that the alliance is designed to increase developer and ISV allegiance to the Java development environment and is a good move for Sun.

“This partnership is part of Sun’s drive to shore up its traditionally strong research sector business and at the same time move toward its new strategy to offer high performance and low cost software with platform flexibility,” Gardner said. “It makes a great deal of sense in that it helps Sun do defense and maintain market share in the workstation market.”

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