Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire(TM) 3800 Midframe Servers Boost Pixar's Renderfarm Production for Upcoming Feature Film

Academy Award(R)-Winning Computer Animation Studio Selects Sun Microsystems

Technology for the Fourth Time



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

    LAS VEGAS, NAB Conference, April 25 /PRNewswire/ --
 Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq:   SUNW) announced today that
 Pixar Animation Studios (Nasdaq:   PIXR) plans to build its next generation
 Renderfarm based on Sun's new Sun Fire(TM) 3800 Midframe servers.  The new
 Renderfarm is expected to boost Pixar's computing power to 2.5 times its
 current capabilities.  This technology enhancement should speed production of
 "Monsters Inc.," Pixar and Disney's animated feature film set for release
 November 2, 2001.  The announcement was made at the National Association of
 Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas.
     "If Pixar's three previous films are any indication of things to come,
 it's clear that Pixar will continue to lead the industry in fully-animated
 films and will once again push the technology envelope in Renderfarm
 performance," said Robbie Turner, Vice President, Client and Technical Market
 Products, Sun Microsystems.  "With the highly scalable and reliable 64-bit
 architecture of Sun's hardware, combined with its robust performance and
 parallel processing, Sun will help Pixar and Disney meet their rigorous film
 production requirements and deliver their next high caliber film on time."
     Sun-based Renderfarms have been a key component of Pixar's three previous
 films, which include "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2."  According
 to Ed Catmull, President, Pixar Animation Studios, "The performance of our
 Sun-based Renderfarms through the years has been flawless.  In a business
 where delay can mean disaster, Pixar's decision to upgrade our Renderfarm to
 Sun Fire Midframe servers illustrates our confidence in Sun's ongoing
 commitment and ability to provide products and solutions that will help us
 deliver top quality products on time."
     Pixar's next generation Renderfarm will use 250 new Sun Fire 3800 Midframe
 servers, each with eight UltraSPARC(TM) III microprocessors, 16 gigabytes of
 system memory and 108 gigabytes of local disk space, giving Pixar 2,000
 processors in production and nearly four terabytes of main memory.  An
 additional cluster of Sun servers will function as a model server and will
 offer an additional 10 terabytes of storage.  Plans call for all 250 servers
 to be operational by June 2001.
 
     KEY FACTS ABOUT THE SUN FIRE 3800 MIDFRAME SERVER-BASED RENDERFARM
     -- Pixar is installing 250 Sun Fire 3800 Midframe servers, each with eight
        750 MHz UltraSPARC III processors.  Each system has 16 gigabytes of
        memory and 108 gigabytes of local disk space.  The Renderfarm's
        aggregate local disk is 27 terabytes.
     -- UltraSPARC III-based Sun Fire servers are called midframe servers
        because they incorporate advanced features from the mainframe
        environment.  The new Sun Fire server line is designed to deliver
        virtually unprecedented levels of system availability, real-world
        application performance, flexibility and investment protection.
     -- Equipped with 2000 processors, Pixar's Sun Fire 3800 server-based
        Renderfarm will be one of the largest commercial Renderfarm
        installations in the world.
     -- An additional cluster of Sun(TM) servers will serve as a model server
        and will feature an additional 10 terabytes of storage.
     -- Rendering is the time- and computationally-intensive process in which
        the correct lighting, textures and shading are applied to 3D computer
        models to produce sharp, colorful images with photorealistic detail.
        It is the critical final stage before a film reaches its audience.
        Toy Story was produced on Pixar's original Sun-based Renderfarm with
        its own Academy Award(R)-winning RenderMan(TM) software.
     -- In addition to high-resolution final rendering, the Sun-based
        Renderfarm will generate the test images animators require to plan and
        evaluate lighting, texture mapping and animation.
 
     SUN MICROSYSTEMS AND PIXAR'S SUCCESSFUL HISTORY
     The first agreement between the two companies occurred in 1995, when Pixar
 enlisted Sun's service to prepare for the blockbuster "Toy Story," the world's
 first completely computer-animated feature film, which was created, directed
 and produced by Pixar.
     This initial deployment used more than 80 SPARCstation(TM) 20 systems, a
 console, disks, networking equipment, and a SPARCserver(TM) 1000 with a
 SPARCstorage(TM) Array.  In 1997, Pixar upgraded its Renderfarm with Sun's
 Ultra 4000 workstations for its hit film, "A Bug's life."  In 1999, Pixar
 selected Sun Microsystems once again as its exclusive provider of rendering
 solutions for "Toy Story 2."  With today's announcement, Pixar Animation
 Studios continues to call Sun Microsystems its preferred provider of reliable
 systems and technology for mission critical rendering.
 
     ABOUT SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.
     Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The
 Computer(TM)" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc., to its position as a
 leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that
 power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to
 the nth.  With $19.2 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than
 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com.
 
     ABOUT PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
     Pixar Animation Studios combines creative and technical artistry to create
 original characters and stories in the medium of computer animation. Under its
 partnership with Disney, Pixar has created and produced the first
 computer-animated feature film, the Academy Award(R)-winning Toy Story,
 released in 1995; A Bug's Life, the highest grossing animated film released in
 1998; and Golden Globe-winner Toy Story 2, the highest grossing animated film
 released in 1999.  The Northern California studio is currently in production
 on Monsters, Inc., scheduled for release November 2, 2001, and Finding Nemo,
 scheduled for a summer 2003 release.
 
     NOTE:  Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Sun Fire, Ultra, and
 The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of
 Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.  All SPARC
 trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks
 of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
 Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by
 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
 
     CONTACT:  Frank E. Smith of Sun Microsystems, Inc., 650-786-7215, or
 franke.smith@sun.com; or Kristin Muff of Eastwick Communications, 650-480-4024
 kristin.muff@eastwick.com, for Sun Microsystems, Inc.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X74507722
 
 

SOURCE Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    LAS VEGAS, NAB Conference, April 25 /PRNewswire/ --
 Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq:   SUNW) announced today that
 Pixar Animation Studios (Nasdaq:   PIXR) plans to build its next generation
 Renderfarm based on Sun's new Sun Fire(TM) 3800 Midframe servers.  The new
 Renderfarm is expected to boost Pixar's computing power to 2.5 times its
 current capabilities.  This technology enhancement should speed production of
 "Monsters Inc.," Pixar and Disney's animated feature film set for release
 November 2, 2001.  The announcement was made at the National Association of
 Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas.
     "If Pixar's three previous films are any indication of things to come,
 it's clear that Pixar will continue to lead the industry in fully-animated
 films and will once again push the technology envelope in Renderfarm
 performance," said Robbie Turner, Vice President, Client and Technical Market
 Products, Sun Microsystems.  "With the highly scalable and reliable 64-bit
 architecture of Sun's hardware, combined with its robust performance and
 parallel processing, Sun will help Pixar and Disney meet their rigorous film
 production requirements and deliver their next high caliber film on time."
     Sun-based Renderfarms have been a key component of Pixar's three previous
 films, which include "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2."  According
 to Ed Catmull, President, Pixar Animation Studios, "The performance of our
 Sun-based Renderfarms through the years has been flawless.  In a business
 where delay can mean disaster, Pixar's decision to upgrade our Renderfarm to
 Sun Fire Midframe servers illustrates our confidence in Sun's ongoing
 commitment and ability to provide products and solutions that will help us
 deliver top quality products on time."
     Pixar's next generation Renderfarm will use 250 new Sun Fire 3800 Midframe
 servers, each with eight UltraSPARC(TM) III microprocessors, 16 gigabytes of
 system memory and 108 gigabytes of local disk space, giving Pixar 2,000
 processors in production and nearly four terabytes of main memory.  An
 additional cluster of Sun servers will function as a model server and will
 offer an additional 10 terabytes of storage.  Plans call for all 250 servers
 to be operational by June 2001.
 
     KEY FACTS ABOUT THE SUN FIRE 3800 MIDFRAME SERVER-BASED RENDERFARM
     -- Pixar is installing 250 Sun Fire 3800 Midframe servers, each with eight
        750 MHz UltraSPARC III processors.  Each system has 16 gigabytes of
        memory and 108 gigabytes of local disk space.  The Renderfarm's
        aggregate local disk is 27 terabytes.
     -- UltraSPARC III-based Sun Fire servers are called midframe servers
        because they incorporate advanced features from the mainframe
        environment.  The new Sun Fire server line is designed to deliver
        virtually unprecedented levels of system availability, real-world
        application performance, flexibility and investment protection.
     -- Equipped with 2000 processors, Pixar's Sun Fire 3800 server-based
        Renderfarm will be one of the largest commercial Renderfarm
        installations in the world.
     -- An additional cluster of Sun(TM) servers will serve as a model server
        and will feature an additional 10 terabytes of storage.
     -- Rendering is the time- and computationally-intensive process in which
        the correct lighting, textures and shading are applied to 3D computer
        models to produce sharp, colorful images with photorealistic detail.
        It is the critical final stage before a film reaches its audience.
        Toy Story was produced on Pixar's original Sun-based Renderfarm with
        its own Academy Award(R)-winning RenderMan(TM) software.
     -- In addition to high-resolution final rendering, the Sun-based
        Renderfarm will generate the test images animators require to plan and
        evaluate lighting, texture mapping and animation.
 
     SUN MICROSYSTEMS AND PIXAR'S SUCCESSFUL HISTORY
     The first agreement between the two companies occurred in 1995, when Pixar
 enlisted Sun's service to prepare for the blockbuster "Toy Story," the world's
 first completely computer-animated feature film, which was created, directed
 and produced by Pixar.
     This initial deployment used more than 80 SPARCstation(TM) 20 systems, a
 console, disks, networking equipment, and a SPARCserver(TM) 1000 with a
 SPARCstorage(TM) Array.  In 1997, Pixar upgraded its Renderfarm with Sun's
 Ultra 4000 workstations for its hit film, "A Bug's life."  In 1999, Pixar
 selected Sun Microsystems once again as its exclusive provider of rendering
 solutions for "Toy Story 2."  With today's announcement, Pixar Animation
 Studios continues to call Sun Microsystems its preferred provider of reliable
 systems and technology for mission critical rendering.
 
     ABOUT SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.
     Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The
 Computer(TM)" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc., to its position as a
 leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that
 power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to
 the nth.  With $19.2 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than
 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com.
 
     ABOUT PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
     Pixar Animation Studios combines creative and technical artistry to create
 original characters and stories in the medium of computer animation. Under its
 partnership with Disney, Pixar has created and produced the first
 computer-animated feature film, the Academy Award(R)-winning Toy Story,
 released in 1995; A Bug's Life, the highest grossing animated film released in
 1998; and Golden Globe-winner Toy Story 2, the highest grossing animated film
 released in 1999.  The Northern California studio is currently in production
 on Monsters, Inc., scheduled for release November 2, 2001, and Finding Nemo,
 scheduled for a summer 2003 release.
 
     NOTE:  Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Sun Fire, Ultra, and
 The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of
 Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.  All SPARC
 trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks
 of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
 Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by
 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
 
     CONTACT:  Frank E. Smith of Sun Microsystems, Inc., 650-786-7215, or
 franke.smith@sun.com; or Kristin Muff of Eastwick Communications, 650-480-4024
 kristin.muff@eastwick.com, for Sun Microsystems, Inc.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X74507722
 
 SOURCE  Sun Microsystems, Inc.