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The SGI O2 is an entry-level Unix workstation introduced in 1996 by Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) to replace their earlier Indy series. Like the Indy, the O2 used a single MIPS microprocessor and was intended to be used mainly for multimedia. Its larger counterpart was the SGI Octane. The O2 was SGI's last attempt at a low-end workstation.

The O2 uses the CRM chipset that was specifically developed by SGI for the O2. It was developed to be a low-cost implementation of the OpenGL  1.1 architecture with ARB image extensions in both software and hardware. The chipset consists of the microprocessor, and the ICE, MRE and Display ASICs. All display list and vertex  processing, as well as the control of the MRE ASIC is performed by the microprocessor. The ICE ASIC performs the packaging and unpacking of pixels as well as operations on pixel data. The MRE ASIC performs rasterization  and texture mapping. Due to the unified memory architecture, the texture and framebuffer memory comes from main memory, resulting in a system that has a variable amount of each memory. The Display Engine generates analog video signals from framebuffer data fetched from the memory for display.

The SGI O2 has an Imaging & Compression Engine (ICE) application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for processing streaming media and still images. ICE operates at 66 MHz and contains a R3000-derived microprocessor serving as the scalar unit to which a 128-bit SIMD unit is attached using the MIPS coprocessor interface. ICE operates on eight 16-bit or sixteen 8-bit integers,  but still provides a significant amount of computational power which enables the O2 to do video decoding and audio tasks that would require a much faster CPU if done without SIMD instructions. ICE only works with the IRIX operating system, as this is the only system that has drivers capable of taking advantage of this device.

Manufacturer: SGI
Date: 1996

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SGI O2 Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
HP 1000 Serial Interface Manual Hewlett Packard Feb 1984

Magazines RELATED to SGI O2 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Personal Computer World - May 1993 1 Aug 1993
Personal Computer World - December 1996 1 Dec 1996
Edge - Issue 144 - Christmas 2004 Future Publishing Dec 2004

Other Systems Related To SGI O2:

Item Manufacturer Date
SGI Indigo SGI 1991
SGI Indigo 2 xZ SGI 1993
SGI Indigo 2 SGI 1993
SGI Indigo 2 Impact SGI 1993
SGI Indy SGI 12th July 1993
SGI Origin 2000 SGI 1996
SGI Origin 200 SGI 1996
SGI Challenge 10000 SGI 1996
SGI Octane SGI 1997
SGI 540 Visual Workstation SGI 2000
SGI 320 Visual Workstation SGI 1st January 2000
SGI Octane 2 SGI 2003
SGI Origin 350 SGI April 2003

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH11262. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.



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