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Latest and Greatest Offerings in the Engineering Marketplace

Latest and Greatest Offerings in the Engineering Marketplace

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Take your workstation on the road

A new workstation from Dell is powered by Intel's Pentium 4-M processor, to deliver serious graphics and computing power.

Nothing unusual about that, but did we mention it's a laptop? The Precision M50 is a mobile workstation, weighing 7.6 lbs and costing $3,599. Its graphics chip from NVIDIA's Quadro4 line and that 1.8 GHz Intel processor (using the 845Mp chipset) produce high-end 3D graphics power with OpenGL and DirectX. The graphics controller also supports multi-monitor displays, and available applets can open certain CAD files (such as Autocad) without running the native application.

For engineers, that means you can take those high-powered programs with you, even compute-intensive applications like Ansys 6.0 finite element analysis and PTC's Pro/Engineer CAD. Both companies issued statements supporting the M50's mix of portability and performance. Also, Adobe said the M50 would support its high-end operations such as mobile digital video editing. Additional ISV (independent software vendor) certification is pending for SolidWorks.

The M50 runs Microsoft's Windows XP or 2000 Professional, offers 40 and 60GB hard drive options, and uses a 15-inch TFT screen. A sister product, the M40, runs an Intel Pentium 3 with slightly less memory and a Quadro2 graphics card. Targeted users for both products include: designers in MCAD; architecture, engineering and construction (AEC); digital content creation (DCC); global information systems (GIS); and software development.

"Many CAD applications are optimized for the Pentium 4, so we expect a performance bump," said Dell Product Manager Greg Weir, in a briefing at Dell's offices. And he expects the machine's extra power will enable CAD engineers to use more design collaboration tools.

Weir also said the TFT screen has a very wide viewing angle, to accommodate users clustering around a laptop. The M50 can also output its signal to an independent monitor. The machine's C-modules can be swapped around, so a user can opt to load two batteries instead of a certain port or drive (average use is three hours on a single battery, depending on the application). Dell, www.dell.com. Enter 599

CAM

GibbsCAM 2002 offers a new level of interoperability with SolidWorks 2001+ using the SolidWorks-to-GibbsCAM Transfer Add-in. The add-in, which facilitates model transfer to GibbsCAM with a single menu selection from within SolidWorks, is ideally suited for situations where CNC programmers also have access to SolidWorks, or where designers are also accessing GibbsCAM to create CNC programs. The add-in, which complements GibbsCAM's existing ability to directly read native format SolidWorks files, is a standard feature of the 2002 release. Gibbs and Associates, www.gibbscam.com. Enter 624

Software

HFSS(TM) 8.5 is the company's updated version of its full-wave, finite-element, electromagnetic simulation software. The 64-bit Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC)-based UNIX computing platform offers enough memory and power to analyze three-dimensional, high-frequency structures, such as waveguides, connectors, microwave filters, antennas, and IC packages. The software reportedly can increase high-end workstation memory up to 16 Gbytes. Ansoft Corp., www.ansoft.com. Enter 625

Fluid flow

CFdesign(R) for Autodesk Inventor(TM) is a multi-purpose fluid flow and heat transfer simulation software package available as an integrated add-on application. Users can seamlessly leverage 3D CAD geometry built in Inventor in a simulation environment without a translation or conversion process. Blue Ridge Numerics, www.cfdesign.com. Enter 626

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