Silicon Graphics (SGI) is finally entering the PC mainstream after announcing deals with Intel, Compaq, Number Nine and five other companies to license its 3D technology. Under terms of the deal, licensees will gain access to SGI's OpenGL API, previously used only by technical workstations.
"OpenGL is an important 3D graphics standard for visual computing and it will greatly facilitate the flow of workstation graphics technologies to volume platforms," said Albert Yu, senior VP and general manager of Intel's microprocessor group, in a press release.
Intel, of course, is driving 3D into the mainstream to sell more Pentium Pro and Penitum II processors. Later this year, the first motherboards based on its Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) are slated to appear. AGP is a fast graphics bus developed by Intel.
Although Microsoft is squarely behind Direct3D, OpenGL could be positioned by vendors as a high-end alternative for graphics application developers.