IMPACT (computer graphics)

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IMPACT (sometimes spelled Impact) is a computer graphics architecture for Silicon Graphics computer workstations. IMPACT Graphics was developed in 1995 and was available as a high-end graphics option on workstations released during the mid-1990s. IMPACT graphics gives the workstation real-time 2D and 3D graphics rendering capability similar to that of even high-end PCs made well after IMPACT's introduction. IMPACT graphics systems consist of either one or two Geometry Engines and one or two Raster Engines in various configurations.[1]

IMPACT graphics consists of five graphics subsystems: the Command Engine, Geometry Subsystem, Raster Engine, framebuffer and Display Subsystem. IMPACT Graphics can produce resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 pixels with 32-bit color[2] and can also process unencoded NTSC and PAL analog television signals.

IMPACT graphics subsystems come in three configurations for SGI Indigo2 IMPACT workstations: Solid IMPACT, High IMPACT, and Maximum IMPACT. The equivalent configurations also exist for the SGI Octane workstation but are referred to as SI, SSI, and MXI (I-series). Later Octane workstations used a similar configuration but with updated ASIC chips and are referred to as SE, SSE, and MXE (E-series). IMPACT uses Rambus RDRAM for texture memory.[3]

The IMPACT graphics architecture was superseded by SGI's VPro graphics architecture in 1997.


  1. ^ "Later (Newer) Indigo2 Technologies". Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  2. ^ "Impact graphics options by Gerhard Lenerz". Archived from the original on 2005-01-28. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  3. ^ "Octane Architecture". Retrieved 2016-04-13.