NewTek will release a version of its LightWave 3D animation software that runs natively on Intel-based Apple computers such as the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro in March, the company has announced.

The Universal Binary version will provide a speed boost to the application when running on such computers, according to NewTek.

“3D artists always push the limits of hardware and software,” said Jay Roth, President, NewTek 3D Division. “Running LightWave 3D on the new Intel-based Mac systems, we’ve been blown away by the results of our preliminary testing comparing the new top of the line Mac Pro versus the top of the line PowerPC series. The performance gain we’ve seen in our test is an amazing 2x improvement in render speed. LightWave is tuned for multi-core support and increased OpenGL performance making the combination of LightWave and the new Mac Pro unbelievably impressive.”

"The blazing speed of our Intel-based Macs offers a significant performance advantage for applications reliant on intense graphics," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "We're pleased that NewTek has joined the thousands of developers using XCode and other innovative Apple tools to develop Universal versions of their applications."

Current owners of LightWave 9 can download a beta of the Universal version at the NewTek Web site.

NewTek's 3D Arsenal application for video editors is already available as a Universal Binary application.