Intel Corp., the world's largest microchip maker, has made a $24 million investment in Salt Lake City computer graphics specialist Evans & Sutherland, the two companies announced Wednesday.
The move is intended to accelerate development of high-end graphics and video subsystems for Intel-based workstations."It's going to rapidly expand our commercial business," said Evans & Sutherland president and CEO Jim Oyler. The announcement was made during an industry trade show in Orlando.
Evans & Sutherland has several large-block investors whose interest in the company is strictly financial. "But there is no operational or development interest like this," Oyler told the Deseret News, especially considering the prominence of a partner like Intel. "There's only a few companies like them in the world."
Stock purchased by Intel are newly issued, nonvoting shares representing an 8.2 percent ownership stake, plus a warrant to purchase additional shares. If the warrant is fully exercised, Intel's ownership of Evans and Sutherland would be 11.3 percent.
According to the agreement, Evans & Sutherland will develop boards and components for Intel architecture-based workstations that will deliver high-end graphics with superior high-end video support. The resulting systems will be capable of running the most advanced visual computing applications, including high-end special effects for movies and video, 3-D animation, mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD), medical, scientific and other visually demanding applications.
The availability of such technology will enable vendors of Intel-based workstations to offer even more compelling high-end system capabilities. It should also provide workstation end users a broader variety of choices for extremely high-performance graphics.
"Intel's goal is to continue to bring the most powerful visual computing technologies to the Intel Architecture," said Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of Intel's Business Platforms Group. "The combination of Evans & Sutherland's technology with Intel's Pentium II Xeon and forthcoming Merced processors will meet the needs of workstation users running the most graphically intensive applications, and will further accelerate Intel-based workstations in the highest end of the workstation market segment."
Evans & Sutherland's REAL image graphics technology has gained favor with major manufacturers of Intel Architecture-based workstations because it is able to fully exploit the continuous processor advancements introduced by Intel.
Through two recent acquisitions, Evans & Sutherland has broadened its ability to design and deliver industry-leading graphics technology to end users. It recently purchased Accel Graphics, a manufacturer of graphics subsystems for high-end workstations, and Silicon Reality, a designer of 3-D graphics chips for Intel-based workstations.
Evans & Sutherland develops and manufactures highly realistic visual systems for vivid 3-D graphics and synthetic worlds used in desktop graphics, simulation, digital studios, and digital theaters throughout the world.