Fahrenheit Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is Fahrenheit?
A: Fahrenheit is the name of a collaborative project between Silicon Graphics and Microsoft for developing a suite of high-performance visualization technologies for Silicon Graphics IRIX® and Microsoft Windows/DirectX platforms.

Fahrenheit will consist of the following APIs:

-Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization API
-Fahrenheit Scene Graph API
-Fahrenheit Low-Level API

Fahrenheit is aimed at supporting applications that rely on interactive graphics, imaging, and video. It is expected that these APIs will be leveraged in a variety of markets including games, digital content creation, CAD/CAM, Web, financial, scientific visualization, visual simulation, VR, and user interface applications.

Q: Why do Silicon Graphics and Microsoft want to work together?
A: Silicon Graphics and Microsoft share a common vision for high-performance visual computing. Additionally, both companies have the desire to bring high-performance visualization technologies and applications to the Windows platform. By forming a strategic alliance, Silicon Graphics and Microsoft will create a unified Graphics Application Programming framework, enabling this visual computing innovation to take place.

Q: How will the Fahrenheit APIs be integrated into Silicon Graphics® and Microsoft® products?
A: Silicon Graphics' existing IRIX systems will run the Fahrenheit Scene Graph and Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization APIs as soon as they become available. As for Silicon Graphics' Windows/Intel systems, Silicon Graphics' forthcoming visual PC systems will support the Fahrenheit APIs as soon as those APIs are released.

In the case of Microsoft, the Fahrenheit APIs will form part of Microsoft Direct's multimedia technology.

Q: What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of OpenGL?
A: OpenGL remains Silicon Graphics' and Microsoft's strategic API for delivering high-performance, professional class graphic applications on UNIX and Windows. OpenGL will continue to be enhanced and made available during and after the release of the Fahrenheit Low Level API. Additionally, in July 1998, Silicon Graphics and Microsoft expect to release the OpenGL ICD Device Driver Kit (DDK) for Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Q: What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of OpenGL Optimizer?
A: OpenGL Optimizer will continue to be enhanced and made available from now until the Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization API is available. Enhancements will come in the form of market/application-specific enhancements that evolve OpenGL Optimizer/Cosmo3D to closely resemble the Fahrenheit Large Model and Fahrenheit Scene Graph APIs. Once the Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization API is available, OpenGL Optimizer will continue to be maintained for the next five years or until developers have migrated onto the Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization API.

Q: Can we still expect OpenGL Optimizer 2.0 to be built on OpenGL++?
A: No. Silicon Graphics has chosen not to release OpenGL++, but instead focus its scene graph developing efforts on the Fahrenheit Scene Graph API. Optimizer will continue forward on the Cosmo3D Scene Graph. FLM (Fahrenheit Large Model) and FSG (Fahrenheit Scene Graph) will cover the combined functionality that would be delivered by Optimizer on OpenGL++.

Q:What is the status of the Large Model Visualization API Consortium (LMVAC)?
A:The major goal of the LMVAC was to create a unified Large Model Visualization API. This goal was achieved by the Fahrenheit project, which brought together OpenGL Optimizer and Direct Model. Thus, Silicon Graphics has ceased its efforts in this organization.

Q: What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of Open Inventor?
A: Silicon Graphics will continue its maintenance of Open Inventor throughout the development of Fahrenheit. Once the Fahrenheit Scene Graph API is available, a development effort will be undertaken to migrate those features that sit above the Open Inventor scene graph (i.e., manipulators, viewers, etc.) onto the new Fahrenheit Scene Graph API. The existing Open Inventor will be maintained for the next five years or until developers have completed their transition onto the New Inventor.

Q: How will current applications migrate to the next-generation APIs?
A: To help developers make a smooth and effective transition to the new Fahrenheit APIs, Silicon Graphics will create porting tools, white papers, and labs to help application developers realize the benefits of the new APIs prior to their release.

Q: What is the roadmap for the future?
A: As disclosed over the past few years, Silicon Graphics' goal was to establish a standard, extensible scene graph API across UNIX and Windows. This scene graph API would be a transparent layer for our hardware differentiation and become the host for market-specific toolkits. Silicon Graphics has determined that the best method for creating this standard, especially on the Windows platform, was to form an alliance with the creator of Windows -- Microsoft.

Q: What is the Fahrenheit timeline?
A: Silicon Graphics and Microsoft have elected to release Fahrenheit components in a phased approach. The Fahrenheit Scene Graph will be the first component to ship. The Fahrenheit Large Model will track the schedule of the Fahrenheit Scene Graph API and will be released within weeks of the Fahrenheit Scene Graph. The Fahrenheit Low Level API will be released in the year 2000; exact dates are not yet available.



The materials on this web site include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 1997 and the report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1997.