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HP's graphics library goes GPL

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LinuxWorld HP has burrowed deep into the data center for its package of LinuxWorld-related announcements. Software libraries, code testing and pay-per-use Linux? Sure, why not.

Open-sourcing software tools seems to be all the rage. Two weeks ago, Intel pumped out some parallelization code under the General Public License (GPLv2). Now we find HP using the same license to cover the release of its Parallel Compositing Library visualization software. The company announced the code's open sourceness as LinuxWorld kicks off in San Francisco.

HP's software helps spread demanding visualization software across multiple graphics cards. As a result, customers can create very large images, churn through large datasets, render volumetric data and work with both distributed and shared memory boxes.

"The library exploits a scaling technique called Sort-last rendering," HP says on its website. "Using the sort-last rendering technique, a number of graphics cards produce 'sub-images' that make up some part of the final image. Compositing operators then combine these sub-images to produce the final image."

HP hopes that open sourcing the software will spur interest in the code and encourage some developers to take it new directions.

Along with the library release, HP revealed that it has added support for the Xen virtualization package and Debian operating system as part of its Partner Virtualization Program.

PVP has somewhat limited appeal in that it's targeted at software vendors. HP lets partners run test code on a wide variety of physical and virtual server configurations. Rather than buying your own gear, you turn to HP for the testing experience at no cost. HP already offered its own well-virtualized Itanium-based servers and systems running VMware as part of this program.

SugarCRM stands as one company using HP's test bed.

On the pay-per-use-front, HP has added support for Linux operating systems.

The vendor has long allowed its Itanium-based Integrity server customers to buy systems with extra chips and then turn on that standby horsepower as needed. HP-UX and OpenVMS users were the first to have access to this feature, and Windows customers followed. Now, the Linux crowd is taken care of as well. You can order pay-per-use ready systems now and have them delivered in November. Red Hat is first on the support list with Novell SuSE to follow "shortly thereafter." ®

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