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[Title Image] The IRIS/VGXT series of graphics supercomputers offer an unparalleled level of performance for high quality visual simulation and visualization. Combining up to eight parallel RISC CPUs with the highest performance graphics system available, the IRIS 4D/VGXT enables real-time manipulation of complex, textured 3D objects with high quality anti-aliasing, Gouraud shading, and transparency. Incorporating more than 50 custom VLSI processors, the VGXT graphics subsystem performs all of the graphics processing independent of the CPUs. This enables single CPU systems to maintain the same graphics performance as multiprocessor systems.

Leveraging Simulation Technology

The IRIS 4D/VGXT offers advanced graphics and supercomputing capabilities in either a deskside or rack form factor. Utilizing the same texture accelerated pixel processors integral to Silicon Graphics top-of-the-line SkyWriter Host Integrated Computer Image Generators (HI-CIG), the VGXT graphics subsystem offers image generator performance and features in a compact and cost effective package.

Flexible and Powerful

Unlike a specialized visual simulation system, however, the IRIS 4D/VGXT is completely programmable through the Silicon Graphics IRIS Graphics Library (GL) for any application from Scientific Visualization to Animation. The developing industry standard for 3D graphics programming, the IRIS GL provides direct access to the power of the VGXT graphics hardware. Additional tools include the Image Vision Library for image processing, IRIS Explorer for scientific visualization, and CASEvision for visual Software development, debugging, and analysis.

The IRIS 4D/VGXT is the next step in the evolution of the VGX architecture - the unchallenged leader in graphics technology. These systems are the only graphics systems capable of rendering over 1M polygons per second, 1M anti-aliased vectors per second, and 1.5M anti-aliased points per second. Supporting real-time texture mapping, atmospheric effects, special effects like motion blur and depth-of-field simulation, the VGX and VGXT offer the ultimate in interactive graphics capabilities and performance.


VGXT systems contain up to eight independent, parallel CPUs which operate in a Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) environment through shared memory. Supporting the CPUs are up to 256MB of main memory and over 80GB of secondary storage. Standard equipment includes an Ethernet controller with optional high speed links to FDDI, SNA, DECnet, and others. For the graphics subsystem, options include the StereoView stereoscopic viewing system for true 3D effects and a variety of video options for real-time and still-frame video capture, live video output, and video encoding for videotape recorders.






Pixel Fill



Texture Mapping

Weather / Environmental Effects

Transparency / Translucency



Special Effects



  • CPU Type: MIPS RISC processors
  • CPUs per Deskside System 1 to 4
  • CPUs per Rack System 1 to 8
  • MIPS/MFLOPS 30-286 /5-70
  • SPECmarks 25-166


  • Object Oriented ADA (Validated), C++
  • High Level C, FORTRAN, ?VI


  • Main Memory (RAM) Up to 256MB
  • Secondary Disk Storage Up to 87GB
  • Removable Disk Drives for Secure Applications
  • Secondary Disk Technology SCSI, IP12X

Operating System

  • IRIX UNIX System V with Berkeley extensions
  • REACT Real Time Kernel for IRIX
  • Interrupt Latency <200 microseconds
  • POSIX, GOSIP, SVID Compliant
  • Trusted IRIX (Security level Bl) available

Networking - Host I/O

  • VME Slots per System Unit 4 (Deskside), 6 (Rack)
  • VME Bandwidth Up to 32 MB/second
  • Standard Ethernet, TCP/IP
  • Optional SNA, DECnet, FDDI
  • Third Party HSD, DRI IW, 1553

Typed up by Ian Mapleson (mapesdhs@yahoo.com) on 26/Jul/2002
Original document dated 1991. Image is by [Alias]Wavefront.

Ian's SGI Depot: FOR SALE! SGI Systems, Parts, Spares and Upgrades

(check my current auctions!)
[WhatsNew] [P.I.] [Indigo] [Indy] [O2] [Indigo2] [Crimson] [Challenge] [Onyx] [Octane] [Origin] [Onyx2]
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