A source close to HP suggested that the company was looking to get into developing niches which are currently controlled by manufacturers outside of the Wintel architecture.
It chose the 3D animation and graphics market because of "favourable forecasts" according to the source. These forecasts also show that Silicon Graphics is vulnerable and unable to compete with the stronger, faster and cheaper Wintel workstations, despite a large installed base.
HP's workstations are expected to be based on the PixelFlow graphics acceleration architecture developed at the University of North Carolina, following HP's acquisition of the technology last year from UK firm Division Group. The workstations will run HP-UX but further spec and pricing will be not be made available until next week.