The company they tried to spin off was called ShoGraphics. And the workstation was called ShoView. Later on they released a series of workstations known as the PEXstation. I've compiled what information I can find on that company here.
Atari coin-op documentation refers to a few technical manuals that were published. They were:
So for sure this was being done inside the coin op group.
An Atari corporate history site shows a few key dates related to the new division.
July 5, 1989: Atari Games announced their new division, Sho Graphics, and the division's ShoView external graphics coprocessor for PC and compatibles with SCSI interface. Rich Moore was Atari Games Vice President/Engineering.
July 31-August 4 1989: Atari Games' Sho Graphics division introduced ShoView at the SIGGRAPH '89 Conference in Boston. ShoView was to ship with the HOOPS graphics software from Ithaca Software, and sell for under $12,000. Jim Morris was Sho Graphics staff engineer.
Atari email archives have a copy of the press release for the new division.
From: BERT::LTURNER 10-AUG-1989 16:16:35.31
Subj: Sho Graphics Press Release
The following press release was placed in several computer
graphics publications prior to the SIGGRAPH '89 Conference.
NEW 3-D GRAPHICS ENGINE FROM ATARI GAMES
TO BE ON DISPLAY AT SIGGRAPH SHOW
MILPITAS, Calif., July 5, 1989 -- A new high-performance 3-D
graphics engine, promising advanced capabilities at a fraction
of the cost of similar products, will be on display at the
upcoming SIGGRAPH '89 Conference, July 31 - August 4 in Boston.
The new graphics engine, dubbed ShoView, is under
development by Sho Graphics, a division of Milpitas, Calif.-
based Atari Games Corporation. According to Rich Moore,
Vice President/Engineering, ShoView will compete with a
growing category of solid modeling engines designed for
CAD/CAM, architectural, simulation, video animation and
other sophisticated 3-D applications. ShoView will operate
with an IBM PC and other IBM-compatible systems, Moore said.
ShoView's impressive solid modeling performance allows
a wide variety of users to create more complex and highly
realistic 3-D scenes and images. The power of the ShoView
architecture allows 1 million 3-D matrix transformations
per second, breaking major price/performance barriers.
In excess of 190,000 clipped and projected polygons per
second can be processed.
In contrast to other systems, Gourand shading and
texture mapping are fully supported by the unique
ShoView architecture without loss of frame fill rate.
Application programs can use a high-level 3-D graphics
library, allowing greatly enhanced levels of
interactivity when dealing with complex 3-D objects
ShoView will interface with any standard multi-
sync monitor having VGA line resolution, and displays
over 65,000 simultaneous colors from a palette of 16
million. Lighting is automatically calculated using
up to four independent white light sources. Also,
each pixel has a 16-bit z buffer, and the system
features a double-buffered display screen and fast
Sho Graphics expects to ship small quantities of
ShoView systems to the field by fourth quarter 1989,
with full scale production and shipping beginning
in first quarter 1990. Specific marketing and
distribution plans have not been finalized, Moore
"Our overall plan is to bring a product to
market that will offer far greater processing
power and more advanced features for less than
half the cost of other advanced graphics products
now entering the market," he said.
Moore reported that Sho Graphics's primary
goals at SIGGRAPH will be to demonstrate ShoView
to industry insiders, as well as to continue the
process of encouraging software developers to
write new ShoView applications for other computer
systems and workstations via the HOOPS library.
"Our basic message at SIGGRAPH will be that
we have developed a highly cost-effective hardware
solution which allows a broad range of applications
to tap the power of interactive 3-D graphics,"
Moore said. "We believe this product offers an
extraordinarily high level of performance that
will bring quality 3-D graphic capability to users
previously priced out of interactive 3-D graphics,
or those who were dissatisfied with existing systems."
This year's SIGGRAPH conference is expected to
draw up to 30,000 visitors to Boston's Hynes
Convention Center. Sho Graphics will demonstrate
ShoView in booth #2355. In addition, the firm will
offer a hospitality suite, allowing software
developers and other interested conference-goers
a chance to meet with the ShoView development team
and company officials.
Sho Graphics is a new division of Atari Games
Corporation, one of the world's leading video game
software and hardware developers, and is headquartered
at 675 Sycamore Drive, Milpitas, Calif., 95035-1110;
(408) 434-3700. Atari Games Corporation is a
privately held company, is not affiliated with Atari
Corporation, and should be referred to as Atari Games.