What is Fahrenheit?
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
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.
Why do Silicon Graphics and Microsoft want to work together?
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.
How will the Fahrenheit APIs be integrated into Silicon Graphics® and
Silicon Graphics' existing IRIX systems will run the Fahrenheit Scene Graph
and Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization APIs as soon as they become
As for Silicon Graphics' Windows/Intel systems, Silicon Graphics' forthcoming
visual PC systems will support the Fahrenheit APIs as soon as those APIs are
In the case of Microsoft, the Fahrenheit APIs will form part of Microsoft
Direct's multimedia technology.
What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of OpenGL?
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.
What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of OpenGL Optimizer?
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
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.
Can we still expect OpenGL Optimizer 2.0 to be built on OpenGL++?
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
in this organization.
What does Fahrenheit mean for the future of Open Inventor?
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.
How will current applications migrate to the next-generation APIs?
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.
What is the roadmap for the future?
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.
What is the Fahrenheit timeline?
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.