Issue: Volume: 33 Issue: 1 (Jan. 2010)

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HARDWARE

Displays
Energy-Efficient Desktops
NEC Display Solutions of America has announced three new desktop monitors in its AccuSync Series. The two widescreen displays and one standard-aspect display are well suited to small- to medium-size businesses. The energy-efficient, 19-inch AS191 and AS191WM and 22-inch AS221WM monitors boast up to 48 percent less energy consumption than their predecessors; EPEAT Silver ratings; and Energy Star 5.0 and TCO 5.0 compliance. All three feature ECO Mode technology with two energy-saving modes, tilt functionality for enhanced comfort, a contrast ratio of up to 1000:1, and a 5msec response time. The AS221WM is now shipping at a price of $249. The AS191 and AS191WM are shipping, as well, and cost $199 and $189, respectively. NEC Display Solutions of America;
www.necdisplay.com

Display tech
Mechdyne Mosaic

Mechdyne unveiled Mosaic display modules, scalable technology that enables single- and multi-screen AV applications, large-scale stereoscopic 3D video walls, and surround-screen immersive environments. The modules employ patent-pending technology to produce detailed stereoscopic 3D and true HD 2D imagery. Individual Mosaic rear-projected modules—each measuring 70 inches wide and 25 inches deep—achieve 1920x1080-pixel resolution and a no-frame design. Multiple modules can be stacked and tiled into virtually any configuration and overall resolution, with minimal impact on image quality.

Mosaic display modules are targeted at research programs, medical imaging, command control, collaboration room, and presentation and entertainment environments. The Mosaic displays detailed 2D data, stereo 3D models, and virtual environments. Mechdyne; www.mechdyne.com

3D Printer
Automated and Monochrome

Z Corporation has unveiled the first automated, monochrome 3D printer, the ZPrinter 350. The new 3D printer converts 3D data into physical models and offers automatic material loading, snap-in binder cartridges, and self-monitoring operation. The printer achieves 300x450 dpi resolution, up to 0.8 inch/hour vertical build speeds, and up to an 8x10x8-inch build size.  Integrated recycling of unused build material, office-safe build materials, aggressive dust-control, and zero liquid waste further round out the ZPrinter 350, now available for $25,900.
Z Corporation; www.zcorp.com Processor

Power-Efficient GPU Processor

S3 Graphics has unveiled its 5400E GPU for feature-rich graphics processing, video decoding, and 3D rendering. The new graphics processing unit (GPU) is designed to combine graphics functionality, performance, power, longevity, and stability for high-quality embedded graphics applications. The 5400E takes advantage of OpenCL, a cross-platform standard for harnessing the power of a GPU’s internal shaders to accelerate parallel computations in graphics, video, scientific, medical, and other high-performance computing (HPC) applications. The graphic processor’s  programmable, unified shader-architecture core and fixed-function rendering units deliver hardware acceleration for Microsoft DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.1, OpenGL 3.1, and OpenCL 1.0. Users can harness Chrome 5400E programmable shader cores to speed 3D simulations, 3D rendering applications, and other visual processing functions. OpenVG 1.1 support also boosts vector-based 2D graphics and video applications. S3 Graphics; www.s3graphics.com

SOFTWARE

Plug-in
Camera Mapper

Digieffects has released Camera Mapper, a plug-in for Adobe After Effects that enables artists to simulate a 3D scene from 2D stills or footage. Developed in close collaboration with author Mark Christiansen, Camera Mapper lets users isolate one or several objects in their footage, project these objects on a separate layer, and pull that layer out of the background, thereby creating the visual illusion of the object floating in front of the original footage. Camera mapping is a key part of compositing applications, such as The Foundry’s Nuke, and while the process can be done natively in After Effects, some complicated workarounds would be required.

With the new tool, artists can now realistically create the illusion that a still image is fully dimensional moving footage. They can subtly change the perspective of a shot or animate it over time. Camera Mapper, which is priced at $79, is compatible with Adobe After Effects 7, and CS3 and CS4. A bundled offering with Red Giant Software’s PlaneSpace is also available at a price tag of $229. Digieffects; www.digieffects.com

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