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APPLE UNVEILS 3D TECHNOLOGY FOR THE POWER MACINTOSH

DEMO 95, Palm Springs, Calif., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Apple Computer, Inc. (Nasdaq-NNM: AAPL) today announced that the Apple Power Macintosh computer will soon become the first mainstream, high-volume personal computer with built-in 3D-graphics capabilities. At the Demo 95 show today, Apple publicly unveiled Apple QuickDraw 3D, a 3D-graphics extension to the Mac OS operating system, which developers can use to offer easy-to-use 3D graphics in their applications. Expected to ship with Power Macintosh computers beginning this summer, QuickDraw 3D takes advantage of the computing performance of the Power Mac's PowerPC processor to deliver 3D-graphics capabilities and performance that previously were available only on graphics workstations.

Graphics capabilities have always been a key strength of the Macintosh computer, and a wide range of 3D-graphics applications currently are available for the Macintosh. Using QuickDraw 3D as a technology foundation, developers can more easily create powerful, full- featured 3D applications. And, QuickDraw 3D-based applications can have a consistent user interface, as well as a common file-format that lets users move 3D data from application to application. 2D-graphics and productivity applications also can be modified slightly to take advantage of QuickDraw 3D, allowing users to drag and drop 3D objects directly into those applications.

"With QuickDraw 3D on the Power Macintosh, Apple is providing a foundation for a completely new user experience and dramatically lowering the price point for high-quality 3D," said David Nagel, Apple senior vice president and general manager of the AppleSoft division. "Soon it won't just be graphics pros who can competently work with 3D images -- we'll see the well-known Macintosh ease-of-use applied to creating and using 3D graphics. We'll see interesting new software in areas such as publishing, entertainment and education. And, because workstation graphics performance will be available at personal computer prices, we'll see a significant expansion of the overall market for graphics-intensive applications."

A number of important software developers today are announcing their commitment to QuickDraw 3D, including: 3Dlabs, auto-des-sys, Inc., Byte by Byte Corp., Diehl Graphsoft, Inc., EA Research, Inc., Electric Image, Inc., ElectroGIG, Graphisoft, Hash, Inc., Matrox Graphics, Inc., Ray Dream, Inc., Spatial Technology, Inc., Specular International, Strata Inc., Syndesis Corporation, Viewpoint DataLabs International, Vertigo Technology Inc., Virtus Corporation, and Yarc Systems Corporation.

"Apple is showing tremendous innovation in the field of 3D graphics," said Osman Kent, president of 3Dlabs. "They are doing for 3D what they did for 2D -- making it easy to use and truly useful for the everyday user. Apple's vision, combined with the processing capabilities of the PowerPC, is going to make the Macintosh a platform that will change the face of 3D computing."

"The introduction of the Power Macintosh has already had a major impact on Strata's market," said Scott Lovell, president of Strata. "With Apple's new QuickDraw 3D, users can achieve even greater performance through hardware acceleration of the interactive modeling view for enhanced realtime feedback. Photorealistic feedback in realtime is breakthrough technology, we're pleased Apple is bringing this high-end workstation performance to 3D software on the Macintosh."

"As a leader in graphics and design hardware, Apple's entry into the 3D marketplace is an exciting move, and reinforces the fact that 3D graphics is core technology in the multimedia equation. The addition of Apple to our company's list of supported hardware platforms will take Vertigo's 3D media authoring software to a new level," said James Stewart, president, Vertigo Technology, Inc.

"Because visual interaction breaks down communication barriers, 3D will be integral to how we work, learn and play in the future," said John Wright, president and CEO of Viewpoint DataLabs. "We believe QuickDraw 3D and the Apple 3DMF format represents a significant step toward broadening the market by putting the power of 3D at the fingertips of desktop users. With Viewpoint's support of Apple's 3DMF, users can store, move and share 3D geometric and appearance information among applications and through an entire production process -- the same way they share PICT images today."

Cross-Platform Support

For Macintosh developers who need to leverage their development efforts onto the Microsoft Windows platform, Apple plans to make QuickDraw 3D available for Windows.

Standard File Format

The new 3D metafile (3DMF) format is a cross-platform file format that supports 3D data -- not simply geometric data, but all the information that represents a particular view or scene, such as textures, lights and cameras. 3DMF can be used by any developer for importing and exporting 3D data from one application to another. Using this file format, 3D data can be exchanged among applications on the Power Macintosh as well as on other computer platforms. Users can also expect to see libraries of 3DMF-based "clip models" that they can use with their 3D and 2D applications.

Architecture

QuickDraw 3D is an application program interface (API) for creating, manipulating, and rendering 3D graphics. It consists of human interface guidelines, a high-level modeling tool kit, a shading and rendering architecture, and a device and acceleration manager for hardware acceleration.

Each part of the API is extensible, making QuickDraw 3D one of the most open graphics architectures in the industry. The file format, interface, architecture, high-level modeling tool kit, and "plug-in" shading and rendering architectures are all designed to allow developers -- and ultimately customers -- to add their own capabilities to the system. Using 3D acceleration, the user can add a 3D accelerator card to a Macintosh, and the interactive renderer can be accelerated in any application that makes use of it.

Availability

It is anticipated that QuickDraw 3D will be widely available to developers for evaluation in spring, 1995. The final software is expected to be available as a software developers kit in summer, 1995, and developers will be able to license the technology to ship with their applications. Apple also expects QuickDraw 3D to be included with Power Macintosh systems, beginning in summer, 1995, and to be incorporated into the next major release of the Mac OS, in summer, 1996. The Windows version of QuickDraw 3D is expected to be available within six months of the availability of the Power Macintosh version.

System Requirements

To run QuickDraw 3D, Power Macintosh systems will require Version 7.1.2 (or later) of the Mac OS, a hard disk drive and 16 MB of memory.

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized pioneer and innovator in the information industry, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, online services, and personal digital assistants. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets products, technologies and services for the business, education, consumer, scientific & engineering and government markets in over 140 countries.

NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo, and Macintosh are registered trademarks and Quick Draw, Mac OS, Power Macintosh and Power Mac are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. PowerPC is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Additional company and product names may be trademarks of the individual companies and respectfully acknowledged.
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/NOTE TO EDITORS: To receive a copy of the Apple QuickDraw 3D backgrounder, please call Lisa Wilson at 408-862-0012. If you are interested in receiving Apple press releases by fax, call 1-800-AAPL-FAX (1-800-227-5329) and enter I.D. number 6172./

/CONTACT: Nancy Morrison, 408-862-6200, or Mary Devincenzi, 408-974-4562, both of Apple Computer/

(AAPL)

CO: Apple Computer Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

TM -- SJ010 -- 4557 02/06/95 18:46 EST
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