SGI Visual Serving technology helps surgeons plan and simulate complex procedures

Mountain View 14 August 2001SGI, a provider of high-performance computing, visualisation, and complex data management solutions for technical and creative users, has made available OpenGL Vizserver 1.3, its latest release of SGI Visual Serving technology, via Web download. This latest Visual Serving solution from SGI gives networked users of desktop systems running SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris or Red Hat Linux 6.2 operating systems the ability to interact visually from powerful remote SGI Onyx 3000 series visualisation systems. The Center of Advanced Studies in Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery of the University of Technology in Munich, Germany, uses SGI Onyx family systems and OpenGL Vizserver software to create a virtual environment which allows surgeons to transfer surgical planning into intra-operative situations as well as focus on individualised treatment strategies.


Such medical strategies include prediction of the behaviour of facial tissues with regard to natural jaw movement, surgical bone rearrangement, and muscle-based mimics in conjunction with other medical facilities in Germany. "The development of the needed algorithms results from co-operation with another institute in Berlin. In order to build up an efficient distributed collaboration environment, the SGI OpenGL Vizserver technology is being used", explained Dr. Hans-Florian Zeilhofer, head of the centre. "With these powerful visualisation techniques, the surgeons are enabled to plan and simulate, pre-operatively, complex procedures for cranio-maxillofacial surgery."

New features in OpenGL Vizserver 1.3 allow OpenGL applications running on the SGI Onyx family of systems to be utilised transparently over standard high-speed networks, even those isolated by packet-filtering firewalls. This technology greatly expands the availability of high-end SGI Onyx family graphics computers, including the scalable computing, memory and I/O capabilities of these systems, while the resulting enhancement in individual productivity and system utilisation increases organisations' return on investment. Visualisations on SGI Onyx family systems make data come alive, now Visual Serving solutions deliver them anywhere and everywhere, within or between organisations.

Now, anywhere on their networks, users of any existing desktop workstations utilising mission-critical applications commonly found in medical imaging, seismic analysis, scientific visualisation, and manufacturing design and engineering can access their large visual data sets on an SGI Onyx 3000 series system utilising OpenGL Vizserver 1.3. "Visual Serving is fundamentally a new way to do high-end graphics", stated Jan Silverman, senior vice president of marketing, SGI. "By enabling widespread organisational access to the visual realism and huge data handling available only on SGI Onyx family systems, we are allowing our customers to solve their core problems without physical restraint. Wherever and whenever they want, they can access the unrivalled visualisation, compute, and storage capabilities of the SGI 3000 family of servers to make mission-critical decisions."

OpenGL Vizserver 1.3 enables an SGI Onyx 3000 series or a Silicon Graphics Onyx2 system to distribute visualisation sessions to UNIX operating system desktop workstations. SGI Onyx family systems support concurrent, real time processing of complex 3D graphics, rich 2D imagery and ultrahigh-resolution video for the world's fastest, most realistic visualisations. With OpenGL Vizserver, graphics processing is handled entirely on the SGI Onyx family system, with the results being transferred as compressed imagery to the end user's desktop. In this way, every desktop user in an organisation can seamlessly integrate the use of high-end graphics into their day-to-day environment.

In addition to support for Red Hat Linux 6.2, Sun Solaris and packet-filtering firewalls, OpenGL Vizserver 1.3 adds new image compressors to drive greater interactivity in slower networks. Clients who require two separate monitors for application display are now supported, as are servers with up to six independent graphics pipes. A new graphical server administration tool is provided, facilitating the allocation and deployment of multiple InfiniteReality graphics devices. OpenGL Vizserver 1.3 can be downloaded from the SGI Web site.

Leslie Versweyveld

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