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Tools and Products

Pages: pp. 103-104


Pint-Sized USB Drive

ATP Electronics released Petito, a universal serial bus (USB) plug that measures at 1.43 inches and fits on a chain around the user's neck. Petito lets users transfer pictures, videos, and other important data. It's reportedly highly durable, with a speed rating of 30 Mbytes per second. It's built with a technology similar to the USB ToughDrive, so that it can withstand water, extreme temperatures, dust, shock, and electrostatic discharge.

For more information visit

Graphic: ATP's Petito is slightly larger than a quarter and can be worn on a chain around the user's neck

Figure    ATP's Petito is slightly larger than a quarter and can be worn on a chain around the user's neck

10-Megapixel Digital Camera

Samsung announced the release of the NV 10, a 10-megapixel digital camera that uses a touchpad GUI. The camera is .7-inches thick, includes a Schneider 3× optical zoom lens, a 5× digital zoom, and a 2.5-inch color liquid crystal display (LCD).

The touchpad GUI helps users toggle through menu functions located on the back of the camera, rather than a traditional dial located at the top of the camera. The product also comes equipped with an advanced shake reduction technology to combat hands shaking while taking a photo. This technology provides enhanced image clarity by electronically compensating for excess hand shake and improving color in environments lacking sufficient lighting.

The camera can record in VGA (640 × 480) at 30 frames per second, for smoother video and a larger view of the movie on LCD and TV screens. The camera also includes a movie stabilizer function that automatically detects and corrects minor lateral and vertical camera movement. For additional control, the continuous video recording function lets the user pause and resume video recording at any time, while the built-in movie-editing function lets the user edit video in the camera.

Graphic: Samsung's NV 10 digital camera with a touchpad interface

Figure    Samsung's NV 10 digital camera with a touchpad interface

There are also several special effects functions for creative control in the camera, such as the color effect, highlight, photo frame, negative, and composite shot. Color effects include black and white, sepia, blue, green, and red. A final feature is its text recognition capability. The user can reportedly shoot a document such as a book, paper, or magazine, and then extract text from the image using the bundled Digimax Reader textrecognition software.

The Samsung NV 10 costs $399.99. For more information visit

ATSC Reference Design for IDTV

LSI and Micronas released a reference design chip solution that reportedly provides all of the functionality required for a high-quality, feature-rich, flat-panel integrated digital TV (IDTV).

The design combines the LSI Domino DMN-8833 Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) decoder processor, the Micronas DRX-H ATSC/QAM demodulator, and the Micronas VCT-P all-in-one flat-panel TV processor. Together with an LSI IDTV ATSC software stack, the solution enables an upgrade for existing VCT-P customers.

Benefits of the design solution include the ability to do the following: process, decode, and display ATSC broadcast content; process and display analog, digital, high- and standard-definition signal sources; improve video quality with advanced signal processing algorithms; and decode surround sound audio.

For more information visit or

Delivers up to 480 Gigaflops of Performance

Curtiss-Wright announced the release of the PowerMatrix family of multiprocessor systems. The systems offer a wide range of configuration flexibility with versions supporting 10 to 48 processors.

The PowerMatrix-48 DSP, a 21-slot rack-mount system supports up to 48 1.25-gigahertz (GHz) processors and delivers up to 480 gigaflops (Gflops) of peak performance. The PowerMatrix-10 SMP, an eight-slot rack-mount system supports up to 20 1.0-GHz processors for peak performance up to 160 Gflops.

The systems have spare virtual machine environment slots and peripheral component interconnect mezzanine card sites to build custom configurations ideal for applications such as radar, sonar, and signal intelligence that require massive processing coupled with broad in/out support. Also, the product comes with independent node architecture boards running VxWorks realtime software and symmetrical processing architecture boards running Linux.

For more information about these systems visit


Collaborate in Real Time

Uni-Verse (a project funded by the European Commission) released Verse, a protocol for 3D applications that lets users collaborate in real-time between different sites or applications.

Instead of storing 3D objects as files, the systems store the files on a server, which can run locally or at a remote location. Applications connected to the server will automatically get updated copies of the 3D data. All changes are transferred directly when they're made, so that the applications can work together with the most-recent 3D data.

Typical application areas for the Verse protocol include areas like content creation for games, animated movies, virtual reality, and the architecture of buildings. Uni-Verse also develops tools for sound and acoustic simulation that work with Verse.

The Verse protocol and most of the tools developed in the project are open source, so they can be downloaded from the Web and used freely. For more information visit

Graphic: Screen shot of Verse, Uni-Verse's 3D collaborative protocol, at work: the Blender modeling tool of the computer on the left is connected through Verse to the computer using Autodesk 3ds max on the right

Figure    Screen shot of Verse, Uni-Verse's 3D collaborative protocol, at work: the Blender modeling tool of the computer on the left is connected through Verse to the computer using Autodesk 3ds max on the right

Imports CAD Models in 3ds max and Viz

Power Translators Pro is an extension to nPower Software's Power Translators plug-in for Autodesk's 3ds max. The software helps users import large computer-aided design (CAD) models and assemblies into 3ds max and Viz.

The product reportedly translates and processes complex data that previously took days or weeks to accomplish and completes it instead in hours. The software refrains from translating high-quality surface models into imprecise polygonal models or intermedia formats, instead leveraging a more precise CAD geometric modeling kernel (Solids++).

Additional features of the product include the following: network translation on render farm or satellite notes; multiprocessor mesh generation; surface repair and reconstruction; face flipping and visibility tools; translation of Parasolid and SolidWorks files; and native translation of Catia files.

For more information about the product visit


In the last issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (vol. 26, no. 5), we noted that the 3DBoxx 8300 series workstation contains eight dual-core Intel Xeon processors. In actuality, it contains two dual-core Intel Xeon processors. The Boxx Apexx 8 workstation is the product that contains eight dual-core processors, but they are AMD Opteron processors rather than Intel Xeons.

Recent Books of Interest

We think the following books are of interest to the computer graphics community:

  • H. Samet, Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures, Morgan-Kaufmann, 2006, 1,024 pp., $59.95, ISBN 0123694469.
  • J.G. Clement and M.K Marks, Computer-Graphic Facial Reconstruction, Academic Press, 2005, 384 pp., $86.96, ISBN 0124730515.
  • K. Erleben, J. Sporring, K. Henriksen, and H. Dohlman, Physics-Based Animation, Charles River Media, 2005, 832 pp., $69.95, ISBN 1584503807.
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