SGI revamps visualization offerings

Company builds its VUE product line based on the open-source OpenGL graphics library

SGI has tidied up its portfolio of visualization applications,
filing all existing and new products under the Visual User Experience (VUE)

The company will build the VUE product line for visualizing,
coordinating and sharing large, complex datasets, said Robert
Pette, vice president of SGI's visualization group. VUE will be a
unified architecture, Pette said. "Each [application] will stand
alone but will have more power if you use them together."

SGI will base VUE applications, which can run on different
x86-based platforms, on the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL), a set
of application programming interfaces for professional-grade 2-D
and 3-D visual rendering. Developed by SGI, OpenGL is now open source.

VUE components will come out during the next year and consist of
the following:

FusionVUE is software that allows users to combine
and work with data from multiple sources, such as databases, video
feeds, computer-assisted drawings and other formats. The software
can tap into a remote application, giving local users access to
control the software. It also can draw information from other
applications into its asset management system, giving users the
option of working locally with the data.

Pette said FusionVUE would be particularly suited for
command-and-control centers that must have multiple forms of data
on tap. The software allows users to annotate each set of data as
it appears on the screen.

RemoteVUE extends the interface of PowerVUE to
remote clients, using the OpenGL-based frame buffer. Users could
access views by installing a small downloadable application or, if
a thin-client is used, with a plug-in card.

SoftVUE and PowerVUE are two clustering
applications for combing multiple commodity servers to visualize a
large dataset. Such clusters would eliminate the need for
specialized graphical processor units, Pette said. SoftVUE would be
aimed at 32- or 64-node clusters while PowerVUE could scale to 500

EventVUE works with FusionVUE, allowing users to
set alerts when certain conditions arise within a group of

The Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness
Directorate, located in Mesa, Ariz., has been using a beta version
of FusionVUE, Pette said. The lab has developed a prototype
command-and-control center for unmanned aerial vehicles to tie
disparate applications into a single display. A single view can
show an aircraft's status, crew and maintenance logs,
according to SGI.

SGI will release FusionVUE first, and it should be available by
the end of 2008. The other new products will be released during the
next year.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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