UC San Diego Unveils World's Highest Resolution Scientific Display, Gives Other Monitors Pixel Envy


Insert your own 'size matters' joke, but jesting aside, UC San Diego's new scientific display system is one big mother. The Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) boasts a screen resolution of almost 287 million pixels, or more than 10 percent bigger than the second largest display, which checks in at 256 million pixels.

To make the display possible, it took 70 high-resolution Dell 30" monitors arranged in fourteen columns of five displays each. Each 'tile' in the multi-tile paradigm sports 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, bringing the combined visible resolution to 35,640 x 8,000 pixels. But before contemplating such a setup for the baddest TF2 gaming environment on the block, it would take an area capable of housing a 31.8 feet wide by 7.5 feet tall display, and one can only imagine the GPU horsepower needed to try and run a modern videogame. Instead, the HIPerSpace is being put to better use displaying large data sets, giving scientists the ability to explore space in real time, model the impact of seismic activity on structures, predict climate changes, analyze the structure of the human brain, and a bunch of other tasks that have nothing to do with WSAD.

Powering the display are 18 Dell XPS 710/720 computers with Intel quad-core processors and dual Nvidia FX5600 videocards. A head node and six streaming nodes round out the hardware pool for a total of 100 processor cores and 38 GPUs. All that computing power translates into 20 teraflops of peak processing power and 10 terabytes of storage; the same amount of data Dr. Yoshihiro Shiroishi from Hitachi says the human brain is capable of storing.

The real question here isn't whether the HIPerSpace would be better suited as the ultimate gaming rig (swap the FX5600s for a gaggle of HD 4870 X2s) or a full-time Folding@Home machine, but what's the dead pixel policy?

Image Credit: UC San Diego

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