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Thursday, August 18, 2005
ECMA-363 Extends the Life of 3D Data

Ecma standardises Universal 3D (U3D) a file format which makes 3D data accessible to mainstream business applications.

ECMA-363 covers new usage models for 3D data, allowing interactive 3D graphics in mainstream business applications such as online promotion, marketing and sales. The standard defines a Universal 3D (U3D) file format which streamlines large, complex 3D CAD datasets. Consequently, U3D allows easy, high-quality viewing of interactive 3D data on ordinary hardware platforms without the need for proprietary software or viewers.

Extensibility as a key feature - ECMA-363, 2 nd edition, was adopted by Ecma on 9 August 2005 and allows the addition of new modifiers to change the 3D model. In addition, the extensibility feature of the format allows software vendors to differentiate their products. This will promote the longevity of the standard and provide the flexibility sought by software suppliers.

Open source - Open-source runtime libraries enable independent software vendors to easily implement compression, streaming, animation and various other features in their applications. These libraries and sample software implementation are available from SourceForge ( and the 3D Industry Forum (

Adobe as an early adopter - Intel Corporation, Adobe, Bentley Systems, Incorporated and more than 25 other companies have joined the 3D Industry Forum (3DIF) to develop the standard in cooperation with Ecma International. An early adopter of U3D is Adobe Systems Incorporated: Acrobat 7.0 Professional software and the free Adobe Reader support the new file format. ( Other adopters include Bentley Systems, Incorporated (, Actify ( and Right Hemisphere (

"Intel believes in the importance of open standards to help drive new technologies forward and bring new benefits to the industry," said Jonathan Khazam, general manager and vice-president of Intel Platform Software Products. "U3D will facilitate the use of 3D interactive models, enriching and enabling new classes of applications. In addition to Intel's role in developing the standard, Intel, through the 3D Industry Forum (3DIF), is offering open-source reference code to assist developers wishing to take advantage of the new technology."

"The efforts of Ecma and the 3DIF to develop an open 3D standard will help drive worldwide adoption in industries such as manufacturing and AEC, where the ability to visualize design is crucial," said Eugene Lee , vice-president of product marketing in Adobe's Intelligent Documents Business Unit. "We're committed to supporting standards in our products. Through support for U3D in Acrobat 7.0 Professional, the free Adobe Reader and PDF, we're helping organizations reliably share 3D content with virtually anyone inside or outside the firewall."

About Ecma International
Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Experts from industry and other organizations work together at Ecma to develop standards. Ecma submits its work for approval as ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards and is the inventor and main practitioner of ?fast tracking? of specifications through the standardisation process in International Standards Organisations (ISOs) such as the ISO and the IEC. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from

About the 3D Industry Forum (3DIF)
Established by Intel in 2003, the 3D Industry Forum (3DIF) is a group of more than 25 companies that promote 3D technologies and standards and provide tools, information, and education for using these technologies. The purpose of 3DIF is to further the adoption of 3D by establishing industry focused 3DIF offerings and market data which will be widely accepted and deployed in a commercially viable manner by content developers, software and hardware ISVs, government bodies and end users.

About Bentley
Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the world?s infrastructure. The company?s comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil, and geospatial vertical markets spans architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With 2004 revenues exceeding US$300 million, Bentley is the leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Design 500 and major owner-operators.

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