Nvidia’s secret war with Intel has evolved into a full scale arms race for the atomic bomb of graphics technology, ray tracing. Using its forum at SIGGRAPH, Nvidia was able to demonstrate an interactive ray tracing simulation using four of the company's next-generation Quadro GPUs. They were set in a Quadro Plex 2100 D4 Visual Computing System with an estimated street price of around $11,000. Not exactly your standard gaming rig, but it gets the point across. Either way, it appears as though Nvidia is finally taking a cue from Intel and is focusing at least some of its effort on developing hardware capable of making this technique a reality for everyday users. The demonstration featured linear scaling of an anti aliased Bugatti Veyron with over two-million polygons. It was run at a resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) and chugged along at an impressive 30 FPS. The demonstration also featured image-based lighting paint shaders, reflections / refractions, and ray traced shadows. Industry insiders noted that the demo was an impressive undertaking since it was one of the first interactive demonstrations done using a GPU. Intel has demonstrated ray tracing using Quake 3 but was done using CPU power.Larrabee will be Intel’s counter in the consumer market, but it remains to be seen if the CPU style design will be as capable of pushing out polygons as Nvidia’s offerings.Gamers are no doubt hoping the new race to master ray tracing will accelerate its development, but I have a feeling we will be playing Duke Nukem Forever long before we see consumer based ray tracing solutions from either company. Though the important first steps are now well underway.
The whole world went gaga over the PS3’s Cell processor at the advent of the 7th generation of consoles. That hype slowly subsided as the PS3 failed to set the cash registers ringing. However, an imminent deluge of Cell-based products - Toshiba's latest Qosmio notebooks bear a Cell-derived chip - has turned the spotlight back on to the Cell Broadband Engine.
SIGGRAPH 2008 brings roughly 30,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from around the world together focusing on science, research, art, animation, gaming, and education. They hand out prizes for the best in computer animation from submissions. This year’s conference ends today.
"The caliber of submissions this year was truly phenomenal, which made the jury's job especially difficult." said Jill Smolin, SIGGRAPH 2008 Conference Entertainment Director. "The winners truly showcase what is possible today and provide a glimpse into what artists can achieve in the future. Really, the only limitation is the imagination."
The SIGGRAPH 2008 Best of Show award goes to Oktapodi by Gobelins, l'école de l’image, from France.
Best Student Piece Winner award goes to 893 by Supinfocom from France.
The Jury Award Winner is Mauvais Rôle by École Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle, also from France.
It seems the French made a clean sweep. The conference was held in Los Angeles. Go figure.
Oktapodi and Mauvais Rôle are both pretty entertaining. although I found Mauvais Rôle funnier. It must have been the gamer references. I couldn’t find a link to 893. Check them out!
Two years ago, Nvidia unveiled its Quadro Plex range of visual computing systems at SIGGRAPH 2006. Now, at this year’s SIGGRPAH, it has announced desk-mounted visual supercomputers in the Quadro Plex range. The D series of Quadro Plex visual computer systems is claimed to have leapfrogged previous versions by over a 100% in terms of performance. The NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2200 D2 VCS has two Quadro FX 5800 GPUs, 4 dual-link DVI channels, and 8 GB of frame buffer memory. Whereas its sibling the NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2100 D4 VCS has four GPUs, 8 dual-link DVI channels and a 4 GB frame buffer.
The D series visual supercomputers are ideal for highly taxing 3D models, engineering designs and other scientific visualizations. The hundred of Nvidia CUDA Parallel Processing Cores pack copious parallel computing capabilities and the visual supercomputers can be easily hooked to workstations or servers using PCI Express adapter cards. The D series is due in September with prices starting at $10,750.