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We are back up and running once more and our thanks to all that have contributed in one way or the other in getting the new site into place.

Since we closed down the 3D Professor dot Com website and started afresh with this new site, we did ask our viewers to mail requesting the old review they wanted to see.   Many, many requests have come forth for us to show the old reviews online what we have completed in the past on the Quadro's and FireGL to name but a few.  

Therefore to appease our faithful following within the High-End community have chosen a few of the most popular reviews completed here and uploaded them onto the site over on the "OLD REVIEWS" page so that you all may draw direct comparisons when the new Quadro's, FirePro cards ETC when they finally arrive.

4th Jun 2012

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, 04 JUNE 2012: Powering a new generation of high-performance seismic interpretation workstations, Geological Expression software provider ffA has announced today certification of its flagship product, GeoTeric®, on the NVIDIA® Maximus™ technology platform.

GeoTeric directly translates geophysical data into geological information. Its data driven, interpreter guided approach reduces subjectivity and removes weeks from the interpretation workflow. Geological Expression is based on the union between objective data analysis and user guided interaction - an ideal match for the visualisation and computing capabilities of NVIDIA Maximus technology.

GeoTeric software running on NVIDIA Maximus powered workstations provides the kind of GPU horsepower required for conducting large model visualisation and GPU based computations simultaneously on the interpreter’s desktop. NVIDIA Maximus technology combines the visualisation and interactive design capability of NVIDIA Quadro® GPUs and the high-performance computing power of NVIDIA Tesla® GPUs into a single workstation. Tesla companion processors automatically perform the heavy lifting of photorealistic rendering or engineering simulation computation. This frees up the Quadro GPU to be dedicated to powering rich, full-performance, interactive seismic visualisation.

In collaboration with NVIDIA, over the last four years ffA has brought advances to the seismic interpretation workflow through development of GPU based algorithms and technologies that bridge the gap between the interpreter interaction and analysis of 3D seismic attributes, dramatically improving interpretation productivity in the process, even on the largest 3D seismic datasets.

Steve Purves, ffA director of Technology, said, “Geological Expression is all about maximising the amount of geological information that you can rapidly extract from 3D seismic. We’ve been working across multiple Quadro and Tesla GPUs in our workstations to do this for some time. Now, with NVIDIA Maximus certification for GeoTeric, and the additional supporting technology that comes with it, it is much easier for our clients to procure the Geological Expression platforms that are going to take their interpretation workflows to new levels of productivity.”

“NVIDIA Maximus technology was tailor-made for dramatically accelerating tasks like seismic interpretation,” said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. “With GeoTeric utilizing Maximus, geological visualisations and simulations no longer need to occur on multiple systems or at different times. Simultaneous visualisations and simulations means better, faster, and easier workflows on a single workstation.”

SPECapc releases PTC Creo 2.0 benchmark  


ORLANDO, Fla., June 4, 2012 – SPEC’s Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group has released a new standard benchmark for evaluating the performance of systems running PTC’s Creo® 2.0 product design software. The announcement was made in conjunction with the PlanetPTC® Live annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

SPECapc for PTC® Creo 2.0 provides eight workflows that exercise all aspects of system performance when running the popular application. Composite scores are generated for graphics, shaded graphics, wireframe graphics, CPU and I/O performance.

PTC contributed the model and SPECapc tested and prepared the benchmark, making maximum use of new functionality in Creo 2.0.

“On behalf of PTC, I’d like to thank SPECapc for delivering this new standard benchmark for Creo 2.0. Our worldwide customer base and our hardware partners can now measure and compare the performance of Creo 2.0 on the latest generation of CAD workstations,” says Brian Thompson, vice president, Creo product management, PTC. “Graphics performance in Creo 2.0 is impressive and the SPECapc for Creo 2.0 benchmark provides our customers with a tool to determine the best hardware configuration for their particular needs.”

“It took teamwork and agility from both PTC and SPECapc to produce a benchmark of this quality in time for PlanetPTC Live,” says Allen Jensen, SPECapc chair. “SPECapc for Creo 2.0 should be a great benefit to the entire PTC user community.”

Available for free downloading

SPECapc for PTC Creo 2.0 is available for free downloading on the SPEC/GWPG (Graphics & Workstation Performance Group) web site: www.spec.org/gwpg.

Models wanted

SPECapc is always on the lookout for real-world models to use in its application-based benchmarks. If you have models that can be freely distributed to the public as part of a benchmark, contact Bob Cramblitt.

About SPECapc  

SPECapc was formed in 1997 to address performance evaluation based on popular workstation applications. Current members include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Lenovo, NEC and NVIDIA. SPECapc is part of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC), a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of computers. For more information, visit: www.spec.org

15th May 2012

NVIDIA Introduces World’s First Virtualized GPU, Accelerating Graphics for Cloud Computing

NVIDIA VGX Cloud Platform Puts GPUs in Enterprise Data Centers, Freeing Users to Run Microsoft Windows, Any Applications From Their Connected Device

 SAN JOSE, Calif.—GPU Technology Conference—May 15, 2012—NVIDIA today unveiled the NVIDIA® VGX™ platform, which enables IT departments to deliver a virtualized desktop with the graphics and GPU computing performance of a PC or workstation to employees using any connected device.

With the NVIDIA VGX platform in the data center, employees can now access a true cloud PC from any device – thin client, laptop, tablet or smartphone – regardless of its operating system, and enjoy a responsive experience for the full spectrum of applications previously only available on an office PC.

NVIDIA VGX enables knowledge workers for the first time to access a GPU-accelerated desktop similar to a traditional local PC. The platform’s manageability options and ultra-low latency remote display capabilities extend this convenience to those using 3D design and simulation tools, which had previously been too intensive for a virtualized desktop.

Integrating the VGX platform into the corporate network also enables enterprise IT departments to address the complex challenges of “BYOD” – employees bringing their own computing device to work. It delivers a remote desktop to these devices, providing users the same access they have on their desktop terminal. At the same time, it helps reduce overall IT spend, improve data security and minimize data center complexity.

“NVIDIA VGX represents a new era in desktop virtualization,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of the Professional Solutions Group at NVIDIA. “It delivers an experience nearly indistinguishable from a full desktop while substantially lowering the cost of a virtualized PC.”

The NVIDIA VGX platform is part of a series of announcements NVIDIA is making today at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), all of which can be accessed in the GTC online press room.

The VGX platform addresses key challenges faced by global enterprises, which are under constant pressure both to control operating costs and to use IT as a competitive edge that allows their workforces to achieve greater productivity and deliver new products faster. Delivering virtualized desktops can also minimize the security risks inherent in sharing critical data and intellectual property with an increasingly internationalized workforce.

 NVIDIA VGX is based on three key technology breakthroughs:

·         NVIDIA VGX Boards. These are designed for hosting large numbers of users in an energy-efficient way. The first NVIDA VGX board is configured with four GPUs and 16 GB of memory, and fits into the industry-standard PCI Express interface in servers.

·         NVIDIA VGX GPU Hypervisor. This software layer integrates into commercial hypervisors, such as the Citrix XenServer, enabling virtualization of the GPU.

·         NVIDIA User Selectable Machines (USMs). This manageability option allows enterprises to configure the graphics capabilities delivered to individual users in the network, based on their demands. Capabilities range from true PC experiences available with the NVIDIA standard USM to enhanced professional 3D design and engineering experiences with NVIDIA Quadro® or NVIDIA NVS™ GPUs.


The NVIDIA VGX platform enables up to 100 users to be served from a single server powered by one VGX board, dramatically improving user density on a single server compared with traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. It sharply reduces such issues as latency, sluggish interaction and limited application support, all of which are associated with traditional VDI solutions.

With the NVIDIA VGX platform, IT departments can serve every user in the organization – from knowledge workers to designers – with true PC-like interactive desktops and applications.


NVIDIA VGX boards are the world’s first GPU boards designed for data centers. The initial NVIDIA VGX board features four GPUs, each with 192 NVIDIA CUDA® architecture cores and 4 GB of frame buffer. Designed to be passively cooled, the board fits within existing server-based platforms.

 The boards benefit from a range of advancements, including hardware virtualization, which enables many users who are running hosted virtual desktops to share a single GPU and enjoy a rich, interactive graphics experience; support for low-latency remote display, which greatly reduces the lag currently experienced by users; and, redesigned shader technology to deliver higher power efficiency.

 NVIDIA VGX GPU Hypervisor

The NVIDIA VGX GPU Hypervisor is a software layer that integrates into a commercial hypervisor, enabling access to virtualized GPU resources. This allows multiple users to share common hardware and ensure virtual machines running on a single server have protected access to critical resources. As a result, a single server can now economically support a higher density of users, while providing native graphics and GPU computing performance.

This new technology is being integrated by leading virtualization companies, such as Citrix, to add full hardware graphics acceleration to their full range of VDI products.

NVIDIA User Selectable Machines

NVIDIA USMs allow the NVIDIA VGX platform to deliver the advanced experience of professional GPUs to those requiring them across an enterprise. This enables IT departments to easily support multiple types of users from a single server.

USMs allow better utilization of hardware resources, with the flexibility to configure and deploy new users’ desktops based on changing enterprise needs. This is particularly valuable for companies providing infrastructure as a service, as they can repurpose GPU-accelerated servers to meet changing demand throughout the day, week or season.

Leading Businesses Endorse NVIDIA VGX

“Jaguar Land Rover is a global company with an international workforce. The ‘holy grail’ for us is to deliver virtualized desktop to engineers overseas so we can harness the best engineering talent on the planet without risking the security of our new car designs. The NVIDIA VGX platform is the most promising step we’ve seen in addressing the user experience for our virtualized workforce. With NVIDIA VGX, engineers for the first time can run all of the office productivity and technical applications they need in a virtualized environment. This will dramatically improve the productivity of our global workforce.”

     Gordon McMullan, interim CTO, Jaguar Land Rover

 Larson Design Group is a growing company that teams with our clients to provide responsive, innovative solutions for facility, transportation, land development and environmental needs. We therefore look to deploy technologies that will help sustain our growing geographic reach, ease administration and allow our engineers to reach their creative maximum and be more connected to client needs. With NVIDIA VGX, our engineers can now take any mobile device to the client’s site, work interactively with them on a fully virtualized desktop and still maintain the industry’s highest productivity levels.”

     Keith S. Kuzio, CEO, Larson Design Group

 Leading Virtualization Companies Endorse NVIDIA VGX

“Desktop virtualization is rapidly becoming mainstream for enterprises. By leveraging the NVIDIA VGX platform, combined with XenDesktop and HDX technologies, we are enabling enterprise customers to virtually deliver graphics-intensive apps beyond power users and designers. Now, they can also serve users who require only occasional access to graphics-intensive apps, which previously would have been cost-prohibitive. The combined virtual desktop solution for serving these users can be reduced by up to 80 percent, while enabling users to securely access GPU-accelerated apps from any device.”

     Sumit Dhawan, vice president and general manager of Receivers and Gateways, Citrix

 Leading OEMs Endorse NVIDIA VGX

“NVIDIA virtualized GPU technology aligns with Cisco’s vision of cloud and delivery of desktop and rich-media applications. GPU virtualization is the one major technology challenge that has been holding back deeper adoption of VDI in the enterprise. We believe NVIDIA’s breakthrough will deliver the unique user experience and ease of management customers have been demanding.”

     David Yen, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Business Group, Cisco

 “Virtual desktop environments can enable mobile workforces to perform tasks more efficiently. With HP VirtualSystem utilizing HP Blade Servers and the NVIDIA VGX platform, clients can easily deploy a simplified virtualized environment that quickly delivers the information or applications users need.”

     Chuck Smith, vice president of Worldwide Industry Standard Servers, HP

 Availability and Pricing

The NVIDIA VGX platform, including new NVIDIA VGX boards, the NVIDIA GPU Hypervisor and NVIDIA USMs, is planned to be available for deployment across the enterprise through NVIDIA’s hardware OEM and VDI partners later this year. Additional information is available at www.nvidia.com/object/vdi-desktop-virtualization.html 
6th Mar 2012

New Intel Server Technology: Powering the Cloud to Handle 15 Billion Connected Devices  

New Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 Product Family at Heart of a Flexible, Efficient Data Center


·      New Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family is built to scale to meet the demands of an increasingly connected world.

·      New server processors deliver up to 80 percent1,2 improved performance compared to the prior generation.

·      New Intel® Integrated I/O with PCI Express* 3.0 can up to triple3 the movement of data into and out of the processor so information can be made available faster than ever to support data-hungry applications.

·      Best data center performance per watt with over 50 percent1,4 gain on SPECpower_ssj*2008 plus extends platform power control with Intel® Node Manager and Intel® Data Center Manager. 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 6, 2012 – Addressing the incredible growth of data traffic in the cloud, Intel Corporation announced the record-breaking Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family. These new processors deliver leadership performance, best data center performance per watt1,4, breakthrough I/O innovation and trusted hardware security features to enable IT to scale. These processors are not only at the heart of servers and workstations, but will also power the next generation of storage and communication systems from leading vendors around the world.

Forecasts call for 15 billion connected devices5 and over 3 billion connected users6 by 2015. The amount of global data center IP traffic is forecasted to grow by 33 percent annually through 2015, surpassing 4.8 zetabytes per year, more than 3 times the amount in 20116. At these levels, each connected user will generate more than 4GB of data traffic every day – the equivalent of a 4-hour HD movie. This will increase the amount of data that needs to be stored by almost 50 percent per year7. ­ In order to scale to meet this growth, the worldwide number of cloud servers is expected to more than triple by 20158.

“The growth in cloud computing and connected devices is transforming the way businesses benefit from IT products and services,” said Diane Bryant, Intel vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group. “For businesses to capitalize on these innovations, the industry must address unprecedented demand for efficient, secure and high-performing datacenter infrastructure.  The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family is designed to address these challenges by offering unparalleled, balanced performance across compute, storage and network, while reducing operating costs.” 

The key requirements to enable IT to scale are performance, energy efficiency, I/O bandwidth and security. With the best combination of performance, built-in capabilities and cost-effectiveness, the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product families are designed to address these requirements, and become the heart of the next-generation data center powering servers, storage and communication systems.

Leadership Performance with Best Data Center Performance per Watt.   Supporting up to eight cores per processor and up to 768GB of system memory, the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family increases performance by up to 80 percent1,2 compared to the previous-generation Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series. The family also supports Intel® Advanced Vector Extension (Intel® AVX) that increases the performance on compute-intensive applications such as financial analysis, media content creation and high performance computing up to 2 times9.

Additional built-in technologies such as
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel® Virtualization Technology provide IT with flexible capabilities to increase the performance of their infrastructure dynamically. These performance advances have led the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family to capture 1510 new dual socket x86 world records.

Modern data centers must improve the raw performance they deliver, but also do so efficiently by reducing power consumption and operating costs. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family continue Intel’s focus on reducing total cost of ownership by improving energy efficient performance more than 50 percent1,4 as measured by SPECpower_ssj*2008 compared to the previous generation Intel Xeon processor 5600 series.  These processors offer support for tools to monitor and control power usage such as
Intel® Node Manager and Intel® Data Center Manager, which provide accurate, real-time power and thermal data to system management consoles. In addition, Intel’s leadership performance allows IT managers to meet their growing demands while optimizing software license and capital costs.

I/O Innovation and Network Capabilities.   With the unprecedented growth in data traffic it is essential that systems not only improve computational abilities, but also enable data to flow faster to support data-hungry applications and increase the bandwidth within the data center. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family meets these needs with Intel® Integrated I/O (Intel® IIO) and Intel® Data Direct I/O (Intel® DDIO). Intel® DDIO allows Intel Ethernet controllers and adapters to route I/O traffic directly to processor cache, reducing trips to system memory reducing power consumption and I/O latency. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family is also the first server processors to integrate the I/O controller supporting PCI Express* 3.0 directly into the microprocessor. This integration reduces latency up to 30 percent11 compared to prior generations and with PCI Express* 3.0 can up to triple3 the movement of data into and out of the processor.

The high-performance processing power along with Intel® Integrated I/O and advanced storage features such as PCIe* non-transparent bridging and asynchronous DRAM refresh, makes the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family also an ideal choice for storage and communications solutions.

Increasing bandwidth demands driven by server virtualization and data and storage network consolidation have led to strong growth in 10 Gigabit Ethernet deployments, with adapter port shipments exceeding 1 million units in each quarter of 201113. Today’s announcement of the Intel® Ethernet Controller X540 demonstrates Intel’s commitment to driving 10 Gigabit Ethernet to the mainstream by reducing implementation costs. This industry-first single-chip 10GBASE-T solution is designed for low-cost, low-power LAN on motherboard (LOM) and includes flexible I/O Virtualization and Unified networking support at no additional cost.

Trusted Security.    The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family reaffirms Intel’s commitment to providing a more secure hardware foundation for today’s data centers. Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (Intel® AES-NI13) helps systems to quickly encrypt and decrypt data running over a range of applications and transactions. Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT14) creates a trusted foundation to reduce the infrastructure exposure to malicious attacks. These features in partnership with leading software applications will help IT protect their data centers against attack and scale to meet the demands of their customers.

Extensive Industry Support.   Starting today, system manufacturers from around the world are expected to announce hundreds of Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family-based platforms. These manufacturers include Acer*, Appro*, Asus*, Bull*, Cisco*, Dell*, Fujitsu*, HP*, Hitachi*, Huawei*, IBM*, Inspur*, Lenovo*, NEC*, Oracle*, Quanta*, SGI*, Sugon*, Supermicro* and Unisys*.

And just to wet the lips of what is to come.......

29th Feb 2012

WD Reaches Agreement With Toshiba Corporation to Divest Certain 3.5-inch HDD Assets

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) yesterday (February 28th) reported that it has reached an agreement with Toshiba Corporation to divest certain assets to address the requirements of regulatory agencies that have conditionally approved or are continuing to review the company's planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST). The asset package covered by the agreement will enable Toshiba to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer electronics markets and will enhance its ability to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for near-line (business critical) applications. The divestiture transaction is subject to review by regulatory agencies in certain jurisdictions.

WD also reported that it has agreed, subject to completion of the divestiture transaction, to purchase Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand) Company Limited (TSDT). TSDT manufactured hard drives but has not resumed operations after the recent Thailand flooding. The principal assets of TSDT are its Thailand property, facilities and employees. Subject to completion of the transaction, WD plans to integrate these facilities and employees into its Thailand operations. The financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed. 

The closing of the transactions with Toshiba is conditioned on WD's closing of its planned acquisition of HGST, which remains subject to several closing conditions, including the receipt of certain remaining antitrust approvals. Subject to obtaining these approvals, the company is targeting the transactions with Toshiba to close in March 2012.

28th Feb 2012


 “Project Phenix” (working title) will Enable Consumers to Buy, Store and Playback HD Versions of Movies and TV Shows at Home or On-the-Go, Easily and Seamlessly

Burbank and Los Angeles, Calif., February 28, 2012 – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK), and Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) today revealed “Project Phenix” (working title), an initiative
that will give consumers an easier and faster way to organise, store and move their high definition digital movies and TV shows – including new releases in up to full 1080p quality - across multiple devices.  In addition to local storage, the content will also be backed up via the UltraViolet industry standard as well as other cloud-based services.

The project is being developed by the newly formed Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA).  Established as an LLC
(Limited Liability Company), this coalition will create and license solutions that secure high definition and other premium copyright-protected content on local and portable hard drives, and flash memory products such as USB flash drives, SD™ cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs). Once content is downloaded to a hard drive or flash memory product, it could then be accessed, online or offline, on any SCSA-enabled device such as a connected TV, laptop, Blu-ray™ player, tablet, mobile phone or game console. The optimised content will be made easily available for purchase via digital download, digital files bundled with physical media, kiosks in retail stores, or other means of secure digital delivery.

“Developing solutions that will allow consumers to easily access and store true HD digital content is a critical component supporting digital media and entertainment consumption,” said Darcy Antonellis, President, Warner Bros. Technical Operations. “Through the SCSA, we will accelerate the development of products that will make it easy for the consumer to download, store and playback their high definition digital movies and TV shows, in full 1080p, on any SCSA-optimised device at home and on the go.”

“The vision for this new product is to store, play and back up in the cloud personal and professional content,” said Mike Dunn, President, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “The device renders content up to 10 times faster than over-the-top internet. We see Project Phenix as a key component of the emerging digital ecosystem.”

The SCSA’s solutions will be designed to work with the industry-backed UltraViolet (UV) ecosystem and aimed to complement other next-generation high definition content protection technologies already in the market such as Intel® Insider™.  The SCSA expects to make its solutions widely available for license this year.

“The SCSA will provide consumers with a digital solution for movies and TV shows that is as simple to use as DVD and Blu-ray discs,” said Bert Hesselink, CTO of Western Digital Branded Products. “The SCSA solution will allow the consumer to store high definition purchased content, including copies of certain DVD content, in a secure, consumer-owned digital home library on a hard drive, along with their personal photos, music, and videos. Digital library content can be easily viewed inside the home on a TV, PC or tablet, or when owners are on the move with a portable library copy, providing mobile viewing even when a reliable Internet connection is not available, such as a plane, car, train or remote location.”

“Consumers around the world will finally be able to enjoy locally stored premium Hollywood content in up to 1080p quality anywhere they desire on a broad range of electronic devices,” said Sumit Sadana, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at SanDisk. With the involvement of major Hollywood studios and leaders in the HDD and Flash memory industries, the SCSA alliance’s openly licensable security standard holds the promise of fostering new device capabilities, new business models and ultimately improved value for consumers. SanDisk is very pleased to participate in this ground breaking alliance.”  

Companies interested in learning more about the SCSA can contact: INQUIRIES@SCSALLC.COM
15th Feb 2012

NVIDIA's 2012 GPU Technology Conference, One of the World's Fastest-Growing Computational Science Events, Opens for Registration

NVIDIA today announced that registration is now open for its third GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in the U.S., one of the world's fastest-growing events focused on computational science and visualization.

GTC 2012 -- to be held in San Jose, Calif., from May 14-17 -- is the flagship in NVIDIA's global series of events focused on how the GPU is transforming science. It is expected to draw the greatest minds in the scientific, engineering, research and developer communities from more than 40 nations.

For more information or to register, visit the GTC website.

"In just a few short years, GTC has become the single most important event for scientists and researchers who use GPUs to advance their work," said Steve Scott, CTO for Tesla at NVIDIA. "The leading figures in astronomy, bioinformatics, cloud computing and neuroscience, among many other fields, will be sharing their latest computing techniques, technologies and real-world experiences."

GTC 2012 will include keynotes, presentations, research posters, tutorials, and hundreds of instructional sessions from top experts. It will again feature the Emerging Companies Summit, where some of the world's most innovative startups showcase new technologies. It will also include networking events throughout the week, enabling experts to share information.

A partial list of those scheduled to present at GTC 2012 are experts from:

  • Supercomputing and research centers: Barcelona Supercomputing Center, CERN, National Institute of Natural Sciences/Institute for Molecular Science (Japan), Irish Centre for High-End Computing, Chinese Academy of Sciences/Institute of Process Engineering, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Corporations: Citrix Systems, Cray, GE Intelligent Platforms, HP, ING Bank, LEGO, Microsoft, Siemens Corporate Research, Synopsys, Tata Motors Limited, Technicolor VMware
  • Universities: Johns Hopkins University, Nanyang Technological University, National Tsing Hua University, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, University of Bonn, University of Calgary/Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, University of Hamburg/Institute of Applied Physics and Microstructure Research Center, University of Hong Kong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania

In addition, NVIDIA and Los Alamos National Laboratory, a leading U.S. national security research institution, will co-host at GTC 2012 the Accelerated High Performance Computing Symposium, bringing together leaders in supercomputing to share knowledge to help solve the most crucial supercomputing technology challenges.

Also co-located at GTC 2012 will be the new InPar 2012 academic conference, which provides a first-tier venue for peer-reviewed publications in the field of innovative parallel computing.

The GTC website will provide GTC 2012 attendees and the GPU computing community with the latest news and information from the event. The site serves a year-round resource, featuring details of keynotes, technical sessions and events from regional GTC events, as well as conference scheduling tools, social media resources, and much more.

Sponsors for GTC 2012 include: HP, Microsoft, Supermicro, PNY, Adobe, Dell, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lenovo, CAPS, Bull, Synnex, Cooley, TSMC, Amazon Web Services, Next IO, GE Intelligent Platforms, Appro, Fusion IO, and SGI.

14th Feb 2012

NVIDIA Joins Forces with HP to Free the Workstation from its Tower

World’s First 27-inch All-in-One Workstation Delivers Sleek, Space-saving Design and Uncompromised Graphics Performance to Millions of Professionals

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Feb. 14, 2012 —The traditional workstation is being liberated for the first time from the bulky confines of its traditional tower, with the launch of the HP Z1 Workstation – which combines the world’s first all-in-one workstation with the high performance graphics and computing processing capabilities of NVIDIA® Quadro® professional graphics.

The HP Z1 features a 27-inch diagonal display that snaps open, like the hood of a car, so users can easily swap out parts and make upgrades without any tools required1. The elegant space-saving design doesn’t compromise the ability to run the powerful 3D graphic applications required by designers, engineers and digital media and entertainment professionals.

Foundational to the HP Z1 is the introduction of a new custom line of NVIDIA Quadro GPUs. Developed through a multi-year collaboration between HP and NVIDIA, these GPUs utilize less power, generate less heat and require less cooling. Designed especially for all-in-one workstations, the NVIDIA Quadro 500M, Quadro 1000M, Quadro 3000M, and Quadro 4000M GPUs offer professionals a full range of whisper-quiet, upgradeable graphics options from the most trusted source in professional graphics.

“HP and NVIDIA have joined to rescue the workstation from its tower,” said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. “The HP Z1 transforms the traditional workstation from its long familiar footprint into something truly spectacular—the industry’s first all-in-one workstation.”

“As more professionals demand increased muscle from graphic-intensive applications, they will realize the need for blazing fast rendering and 3-D graphics performance,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “NVIDIA Quadro graphics will deliver increased visualization capabilities for the creative professional with our category-defining HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation.”

Joint Collaboration

The new line of NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs for all-in-one workstations were born of extensive collaboration between NVIDIA and HP to deliver a range of processors that meet exacting thermal, performance and mechanical standards. The result is a set of new discrete GPUs that enable the HP Z1 to unleash professional workstation graphics in what has, until now, been viewed solely as a consumer form factor.

Industry’s Highest Visual Quality

The new line of Quadro All-in-One GPUs provide the industry’s highest visual quality and performance, with up to 2GB of fast GDDR5 memory2, enabling more interactivity on larger data sets than ever before. Dynamic tessellation allows greater detailed geometry for cinematic quality environments and scenes.

NVIDIA CUDA® parallel architecture, with its mainstream adoption by leading applications from Adobe, Autodesk and others, accelerates performance by offloading complex computation from the CPU. 10-bit color provides the utmost precision and accuracy for a higher level of visual quality and fidelity in digital video workflows.

Certified and optimized across the broadest spectrum of industry-leading professional applications for CAD, digital content creation, and science, including those from Adobe, Autodesk, and Dassault Systèmes, Quadro professional graphics solutions are designed, engineered and built by NVIDIA to ensure the highest standards of quality, delivering industry leading performance, capabilities and reliability.

Availability and Pricing

NVIDIA Quadro professional All-in-One graphics, including the Quadro 500M, Quadro 1000M, Quadro 3000M, and Quadro 4000M, are available immediately. For additional information, including pricing of the new HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation featuring these Quadro graphics options, please visit http://www.hp.com/z1
7th Feb 2012

AMD FirePro™ V3900 Brings Unbeaten Workstation-Class Design Experiences to Entry-Level Professional Graphics

– AMD FirePro™ V3900 enables high-end experience through AMD Eyefinity technology and 1GB of Memory –

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Feb. 7, 2012 AMD (NYSE: AMD) today launched the AMD FirePro™ V3900, which enables best-in-class workstation experiences at an entry-level price point. By leveraging AMD’s latest graphics features, including AMD Eyefinity technology, the AMD FirePro™ V3900 provides up to 95% better application performance than the competition.    The AMD FirePro V3900 will be available in select workstation systems today and will be sold for USD$119 MSRP at select online resellers.

“The AMD FirePro™ V3900 is the most powerful entry-level professional graphics card on the market today,” says Sandeep Gupte, general manager of Professional Graphics, AMD.  “Armed with advanced multi-display capability of AMD Eyefinity technology, extensive certifications for professional applications and blazing fast performance, it offers best-in-class value for our technical and business customers.”

Engineered for professionals looking for optimised graphics performance at entry-level pricing, the AMD FirePro™ V3900’s 1GB of DDR3 RAM drives memory bandwidth of almost 29 GB/s, maximising GPU performance for the highest level of user experience.3 And through AMD’s productive relationship with workstation solution providers, graphics professionals will have access to the AMD FirePro V3900 in a range of industry-leading systems from HP and others.

“HP makes workstations that meet the needs of the world’s most demanding customers and feature the latest technologies,” says Jeff Wood, vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “The AMD FirePro™ V3900, in combination with our HP Z Workstations, offers robust performance for professional workstation applications, providing HP customers with a seamless user experience at an affordable price.”

AMD FirePro™ products are tested and certified with many leading software applications to ensure compatibility, stability, and optimal performance. OpenGL® 4.2 and OpenCL™ support means users can render and manipulate models using the broadest range of tools and applications and know the graphics card is compatible with current and future software applications.

“The AMD FirePro™ V3900 certainly delivers the performance, reliability and compatibility that CAD professionals are looking for when undertaking the latest design projects,” said Nick Iwaskow, Senior Alliances & Partnership Manager, DS SolidWorks Corp.  “Coupled with the best 3D CAD solutions from Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. it can enhance the design process for professionals everywhere.”

The AMD FirePro™ V3900 has received certification for a variety of applications including AutoCAD®, UGS NX, PTC CreoTM, SolidWorks® and Autodesk® 3Ds Max®.

More to follow soon, so watch this space

17th Jan 2012

SPEC seeks input for proposed benchmark measuring compute-intensive performance of handheld devices


GAINESVILLE, Va., January 17, 2012 – The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) is seeking input for a proposed new benchmark that would measure compute-intensive performance of handheld devices such as tablets and smart phones.


The first face-to-face meeting in the exploratory process will be held Monday morning, January 27, in San Jose, Calif. It is open to SPEC and non-SPEC members, including representatives from vendors, application developers, universities and R&D operations.


Meeting a demand


SPEC intends to target handheld devices that support an open community of application developers with access to tools and libraries for native applications. The benchmark would be designed for general consumer devices.


“There’s a groundswell of interest in compute performance related to handheld devices, but in our opinion none of the current benchmarks meet the standards that SPEC could provide and that vendors and consumers are seeking,” says Jeff Reilly, chair of the SPEC CPU subcommittee.


SPEC believes a potential compute-intensive benchmark for hand-held devices could be used by device manufacturers, software vendors and application developers to test and market higher-performing products. Consumers, developers and other decision-makers could use the data from benchmark testing to better evaluate the compute capabilities of available handheld devices.


Want to participate?


Anyone interested in attending the kick-off meeting or participating in the handheld working group should contact SPEC at corporate@spec.org for more information and registration.

5th Jan 2012

SPEC/GWPG seeks Applications and Workloads

for proposed Workstation Performance Benchmark


GAINESVILLE, Va., January 4, 2012 – SPEC’s Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG) is seeking applications, algorithms and workloads for a proposed workstation performance benchmark. Early participants in the workstation working group include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel and NVIDIA.

“We are looking to fill a gap by providing a benchmark that measures the performance of workstations running popular applications, but without requiring the full application and associated licensing to be installed on the system under test,” says Tom Fisher, chair of the working group. “The resulting benchmark would be easy to install and run, but still rigorous enough to provide meaningful, repeatable data for performance evaluation.”

Guidelines and benefits.   The group hopes to augment tests from the well-regarded SPECviewperf benchmark with code and workloads representative of those used in areas such as CAE, digital media and entertainment, finance, health sciences and energy. Among other requirements, the tests should be scalable, preferably solve large problems, support multiple architectures and be freely available to the public.

Those supplying application code and workloads accepted by the workstation group would be rewarded with multiple benefits, including expected performance improvements from vendor optimizations, widespread marketing and PR exposure, and goodwill from customers.

For more information, see the workstation benchmark overview on the SPEC website.

About SPEC

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC’s membership includes computer hardware and software vendors, and leading universities and research facilities worldwide. For more information, visit: www.spec.org.

30th Nov 2011

Hot in from Crucial a bit of news on upgrades.

Back in May, we at
Crucial.com commissioned a study on consumers’ love/hate relationship with their computer, and discovered that we Brits have the 4-year itch when it came to discarding systems we once loved, to make way for a newer model! We at Crucial.com came to the rescue to highlight that sending an old PC away to computer heaven wasn’t just an environmental issue, but a potentially costly one. With an average 8GB PC DDR3 upgrade now coming in at just a little under £35, it sure does beat a hefty price tag of £300-£400 (or more) to replace the entire system! Take a look here to re-fresh yourself on some of the interesting facts discovered in our study.

Crucial.com makes it easy for an old computer--and its faithful owner--to live “happy together” for many more years to come! Our study found that 51% of those surveyed would describe their computer as being “grumpy” or “temperamental.” The frustration of an old PC failing to perform in the way it did in the early days is just one reason people start to look elsewhere for a new system. In fact, 19% of people’s eye wandered as their current computer no longer satisfied them. And why? Well  26% surveyed chose slow speed as the top of their dislike list.

A RAM or SSD upgrade from Crucial.com can give consumers control over a failing PC which has started to throw hissy fits and tantrums while trying to cope with ever increasing demands from memory intensive applications. Seeing an old angry PC turn into a happy contented member of the electronic family in the home is what we do best. See our short, fun video, “
Showing your computer who’s boss”, to see what we mean!

Another way Crucial.com helps consumers tame their naughty computers is by providing information. Almost half (48%) of those surveyed had no idea how much memory their computer had installed. Easy-to-use tools on Crucial.com — like the award-winning
Crucial Memory Advisor and Crucial System Scanner — make it simple to find a 100%-guaranteed compatible memory upgrade. Today, Crucial.com offers over 250,000 memory upgrades for more than 50,000 systems, including desktops, notebooks, servers, printers, routers, and other electronic devices. In addition, Crucial’s site offers helpful installation videos on how to easily upgrade a PC with memory and performance enhancing solid state storage.

Why not take a look today on
Crucial.com to find out what memory upgrade you need to tame your PC, and then share this simple process with all your trusted readers? Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in receiving a product sample or more information about the survey.

15th Nov 2011

At Supercomputing 2011, NVIDIA Demonstrates What's Possible with New NVIDIA Maximus Technology

NVIDIA president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang describes the promise and power of new NVIDIA Maximus technology, which was announced on November 14th, in his keynote address to Supercomputing 2011 attendees on Tuesday, November 15th, in Seattle, WA

Click on the introduction URL and watch this exceptional technology at work
14th Nov 2011 SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Nov. 14, 2011 — After 25 years of design and creative professionals anticipating a workstation that simultaneously performs complex analysis and visualization, NVIDIA announced today its arrival, with the introduction of NVIDIA® Maximus™ technology.

The new offering unleashes productivity and creativity, dramatically accelerating work by enabling a single system for the first time to simultaneously handle interactive graphics and the compute-intensive number crunching associated with the simulation or rendering of the results. These previously needed to be done in separate steps or on separate systems.

NVIDIA Maximus achieves this by bringing together the professional 3D graphics capability of NVIDIA Quadro® professional graphics processing units (GPUs) with the massive parallel-computing power of the NVIDIA Tesla™ C2075 companion processor—under a unified technology that transparently assigns work to the right processor and is certified by industry leading application vendors.

“To those of us who have spent their careers focused on workstations, NVIDIA Maximus represents a revolution,” said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. “Previous workstation architectures forced designers and engineers to do compute-intensive work and graphics-intensive work serially and often offline. They can now do them at the same time, on the same machine, allowing professionals to explore more ideas faster and converge quickly on the best possible answers.”

With NVIDIA Maximus-enabled applications – such as those from Adobe, ANSYS, Autodesk, Bunkspeed, Dassault Systèmes and MathWorks – GPU compute work is assigned to run on the NVIDIA Tesla companion processor. This frees up the NVIDIA Quadro GPU to handle graphics functions, ensuring the quality and performance demanded by professional users.

“The real advantage of the Maximus technology is flexibility and increased productivity,” said Tim Ong, vice president of Mechanical Engineering for Sunnyvale, CA-based Liquid Robotics. “Allowing each engineer to do multiple things at once is transformative for our workflow. It’s a tremendous tool to allow my engineers to be flexible, to multitask, and to be more productive because they’re not waiting on computational power.”

Design and creative professionals have been anticipating a workstation that simultaneously performs complex analysis and visualization for over 25 years. Today we announce its arrival with the introduction of NVIDIA Maximus technology.

As engineering and creative professionals pushed the limits of yesterday’s technology, they found themselves limited by the workstation’s inability to perform graphics- and compute-intensive processing (e.g., interactive design and simulation) at the same time. Engineers and designers had been forced to work around these limitations by performing compute intensive work such as photo realistic rendering or complex simulation at night, during lunch or on separate systems.

The creative and design process breaks down when users can’t see the results of their design choices in context and on demand.

NVIDIA Maximus technology allows professionals to process compute-heavy tasks at their desks while
simultaneously serving up visually demanding graphics. With this new technology, professionals have the freedom to act on ideas immediately. For example, when a product designer believes a component of their design is complete, NVIDIA Maximus allows them to immediately begin validation simulation at their desk – while still continuing to act on new design ideas with full interactive 3D graphics. Their creative work process is no longer tied down by the limitations imposed on them by traditional workstations.

This will have a profound impact on the industry.

For example, stylists at BMW historically had to send their models to another team to render photo realistic, physically accurate images on a server farm. This meant they had to communicate with additional teams in order to share resources on a group cluster. With NVIDIA Maximus, these stylists now have enough desktop power to interact with photo-realistic previews of its luxury performance vehicles without the wait. Previously, it would have taken 120 CPU cores on a shared cluster to match the rendering time achieved by an NVIDIA Maximus-powered workstation on a desk.

NVIDIA Maximus brings together the power of an NVIDIA Quadro Graphics Processing unit (GPU) and the new NVIDIA Tesla C2075 companion processor under a unified technology that transparently assigns work to the right processor and is certified by industry leading application vendors.

NVIDIA Maximus makes photorealistic rendering in CATIA V6 completely interactive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6f1IN56ouY&feature=player_embedded

Perform rapid photorealistic renderings in Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 with NVIDIA Maximus  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCIAsvT5mYo&feature=player_embedded

NVIDIA Maximus increases particle simulation exponentially in Autodesk Maya 2012  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LagqqsVO28&feature=player_embedded

NVIDIA Maximus lets you work even faster in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tcdpOeL5Ys&feature=player_embedded

Learn even more about NVIDIA Maximus technology at www.nvidia.com/maximus.

NVIDIA Maximus Technology Immediately Available   The world’s leading workstation OEMs – including HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Fujitsu – are all offering workstations featuring NVIDIA Maximus technology, available for configuration and purchase immediately.

  2nd Generation  Intel® Core™ i7 processor Featuring Today the 3960X Extreme Edition.  

Dawning of time and a complete new era is upon us today with the long awaited launch of Intel’s next generation of socket 2011 CPU’s and the supporting X79 mainboard chipset.  How did these components all perform, have they met the expectations of the rumours that have been flying around.  Here we have been utterly blown away with the massive performance uptakes in both Multimedia and Professional application performance.   The results in many places are phenomenal never have we seen such huge leaps in results.  The Multimedia results from the Nvidia 580 GTX and Sapphire 6970 just could not be any better.  The Professional graphic cards, these require revisiting as we used the entry level high end Nvidia Quadro 4000 and AMD FirePro V7900, their big brothers from the respective companies need to be looked at once more as to once more reiterate the results have been spectacular.    Therefore without anymore ado click here for a look at the complete remit.

10th Nov 2011

Vienna, November 9th 2011 - Noctua today introduced the new NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow™ fan. Teaming up eleven stator guide vanes with a specially conceived seven blade impeller, the NF-F12’s Focused Flow™ system creates outstanding static pressure and focuses the airflow for superior performance on heatsinks and radiators. At the same time, a wide range of advanced aerodynamic design measures, second generation SSO-Bearings and Noctua’s new, custom designed PWM IC for fully automatic control guarantee astounding quietness of operation.

"Our award-winning NF-P12 has become a standard choice for pressure demanding applications such as CPU coolers and radiators, but we’ve been striving to achieve even better performance in this domain, and this is how the NF-F12 was born", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "Due to the stator guide vanes focussing the airflow, it can push the air through dense fin stacks more effectively. This type of design has mostly been used for noisy high speed fans so far, so our engineers have put a lot of thought into keeping the noise in check."

The NF-F12 uses a wide range of aerodynamic optimisations in order to refine the fan’s acoustic qualities. For example, the NF-F12’s stator guide vanes are set out in Varying Angular Distance and feature Vortex-Control Notches. Both measures help to spread the noise emission over a broader frequency spectrum and thus make the fan’s sound pattern more agreeable to the human ear. Another novel measure introduced with the NF-F12 is the Stepped Inlet Design, which adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow. This measure reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space restricted environments.

In addition to its advanced aerodynamic features, the NF-F12 is the first fan to implement the further optimised second generation of Noctua’s renowned, time-tested SSO bearing as well as the novel, custom designed NE-FD1 PWM IC for fully automatic PWM speed control. The NE-FD1 integrates Noctua’s Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology for quieter operation and allows for ultra-low power consumption: Drawing only 0.6W, the NF-F12 consumes more than 50% less than many fans in the same speed range. This doesn’t only make it eco-friendly but also cuts down the electricity bill.

Last but not least, the NF-F12 comes with modular cabling, integrated anti-vibration pads and two speed settings for full flexibility. Its commanding performance, exhaustive set of features and Noctua’s trusted premium quality make it an elite choice for use on air coolers, radiators and other pressure demanding applications.

Price and availability.   The NF-F12 will be available immediately at a recommended retail price of EUR 19.90 / USD 24.90.

Details:  http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=42&lng=en

Specifications:  http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=42&lng=en&set=1

Fotos: http://www.noctua.at/inc/imageviewer.php?item=42&pnr=0&lng=en

Video: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productvideos&products_id=42

28th Sept 2011

SPEC releases first beta of Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT)


SERT “will enhance the power of the ENERGY STAR label” for servers


GAINESVILLE, Va., September 28, 2011 – The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released the first beta version of the Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT). SERT is a comprehensive toolset that addresses requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR for Servers v2.0 specification.

A rating tool, not a benchmark.   Although based on the extensive experience from ongoing development of SPECpower_ssj2008, SERT is not a comparative benchmark and does not provide a composite power/performance score. Instead, it produces detailed information about the influence of CPU, memory and storage I/O configurations on the power consumption of servers.

A big leap forward.   “SERT represents a big leap forward from version one of the ENERGY STAR for Servers specification,” says Klaus-Dieter Lange, SPECpower committee chair. “It moves the specification from a measure of idle power consumption to a measure of efficiency for a wide range of workloads and load levels.”

Providing critical information.   “SERT will enhance the power of the ENERGY STAR label, providing critical information on energy use to consumers and institutional purchasers, and helping manufacturers distinguish their products in the market,” says Robert Meyers, the EPA’s data center product lead. “If widely adopted, it should reduce testing burdens on the server industry and enable more meaningful and consistent comparisons among products sold in different regions of the world.”

Cooperative development.   The SPECpower committee developing SERT includes representatives from AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, with veteran SPEC benchmark developer Alan Adamson and post-graduate researcher Christian Koopmann as supporting contributors. The EPA provides high-level policy and directional guidance in biweekly meetings with the SPECpower committee, and other organizations around the world have provided input and feedback.

Organizations were invited to participate in this first SERT beta based on their involvement with ENERGY STAR, their interest in power/performance measurement for servers, and a willingness to provide feedback in areas such as usability, ease of configuration, platform compatibility, and functionality.

Additional information.   The ENERGY STAR for Servers v2.0 specification is expected to be completed in mid-2012 and will go into effect in early 2013. To obtain the ENERGY STAR label, a server will have to pass certain idle power requirements and also report the results of active power testing using SERT.

For more information about SERT, to participate in upcoming beta programs, and to review the current version of the SERT design document, visit www.spec.org/sert/.


About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 70 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

13th Sept 2011

Intel® Gives School Science Fair Projects a Boost with Online Training Platform


·         The Intel STEM Fairs toolkit (www.stemfairstoolkit.co.uk), is launched in partnership with the British Science Association

·         This online resource to help teachers spark more interest in science fairs amongst students and create their own science fairs

·         The efforts come from the need to increase interest in STEM subjects, particularly in cutting-edge research and development, so that the
   UK has the talent it needs to thrive on the world stage

LONDON, September 15th, 2011 – Intel Corporation today launches the STEM Fairs Toolkit, a collaboration with the British Science Association to help teachers think about how they can inspire pupils by getting involved in science fairs, or by creating one for themselves. The toolkit can be found at www.stemfairstoolkit.co.uk.

Announced today at the UKTI’s Skills Showcase event at the Central Foundation Girls' School in Harley Grove, London, this new website contains descriptions, tips, online videos, interviews and links to other resources, so teachers can build up an action plan that shows real change in their schools, in particular in the attitudes and practices that will encourage involvement in these events.

Tristan Wilkinson,
Director, Enterprise & Public Sector at Intel, said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths skills are key to maintaining a competitive future for the UK, and Intel is committed to supporting young people to make sure they have the right skills to succeed. STEM Fairs are a great way to stimulate young people's appetite for STEM – and also to celebrate their achievements as fledgling scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists. Ranging from a one-day event in an individual school to a massive three-day national fair such as The Big Bang, there is a STEM Fair to suit everyone.”

Science fairs are a great way of igniting interest in STEM, and are an enjoyable and rewarding group activity. They also help celebrate the success of those who have competed in competitions held at the fairs. Katherine Mathieson, Director of Education, British Science Association said, "The STEM Fairs toolkit is a pragmatic new resource that will help raise teachers' confidence about taking part in STEM Fairs. Sections range from 'Why get involved' to 'How to organise your own STEM Fair' so there is something for all teachers, whether they are brand new to STEM Fairs or have been involved for decades."

The announcement comes in the wake of widespread recognition of the need to ignite enthusiasm for STEM subjects, particularly research and development, so that UK industry has the talent it needs to thrive on the world stage. Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive, British Science Association said, "There is a bright future for young people who develop the skills to work in the STEM sectors. By helping teachers to get more involved in STEM initiatives such as the Intel STEM Fairs toolkit, we can open up careers in the STEM sectors to more and more young people."

The toolkit was unveiled this week as part of the closed function that was the ‘STEM in education evening’ at the British Science Festival. Katherine Mathieson, Director of Education for the British Science Association announced the partnership to over 100 STEM professionals, ambassadors and subject leaders looking for resources gathered to hear from STEMNET, ASE and the British Science Association. At the event Jonathan Barber, Access Academy Manager for the University of Leeds said that ‘it is a fantastic resource which helps spread the word and get new people into STEM fairs -  it’s easy to access and can fit in with teachers’ busy schedules’.

Intel and STEM

Intel has a wide and varied recent involvement in STEM as well as a long history of supporting STEM initiatives:

  • Its skoool initiative, has been helping both learners and teachers get the best out of Science and Maths subjects across all www.skoool.co.uk
  • It also hosts the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair which hosts students from the UK and across the world each year: www.intel.com/education
  • Intel also works with the UK Resource Centre for women in SET (UKRC) to improve the number of girls continuing with physics. A focus for 2011 has been the initiative to help train teachers on how to retain female students in this subject area: www.girlfriendlyphysics.co.uk
  • Intel UK also offers a large number of internships to students in their sandwich year: http://www.intel.com/jobs/unitedkingdom/students/internships/
13th Sept 2011

Crucial To Support Next-Generation Intel® Server Platform with New Server Memory

Crucial Load-Reduced DIMMs to Enhance System Performance with Double the DRAM Capacity, Greater Memory Bandwidth, and More DIMMS per Channel

Key Messages:
          Crucial® LRDIMMs will support higher memory densities than standard DDR3 RDIMMs and enable users to add more DIMMs per channel
          New modules increase memory bandwidth by up to 35 percent
          Memory is fully-validated and compatible with the new Intel Xeon® processor E5 family

Multimedia Elements:   Crucial Image Gallery

Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, 14 September, 2011 - Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, announced yesterday at Intel® Developer Forum (IDF) its plans to launch Crucial Load-Reduced DIMM (LRDIMM) modules in support of the forthcoming Intel Xeon processor E5 family. As companies grow, IT managers and systems administrators are constantly struggling to meet the needs of new and demanding applications. In recognition of these challenges, Crucial will be making available LRDIMM server memory which will support higher memory densities than standard DDR3 RDIMMs, and allow the addition of more DIMMs per channel.

LRDIMM modules deliver up to twice the installed memory capacity for next-generation servers as a result of their ability to reduce the loads presented to the CPU. Servers with the higher-installed memory densities can then run the memory at a higher frequency, enabling up to a 35 percent increase in memory bandwidth over standard RDIMMs, improving overall data centre performance and efficiency. 

“The latest and future generations of servers and server applications all have a common denominator – the need for high performance – and Crucial LRDIMMs help meet this critical need, while offering a high degree of reliability,” said Michael Moreland, worldwide product marketing manager,  Crucial. “Companies are continuing to implement complex technologies like server virtualization, cloud computing, and database applications, and Crucial is committed to supporting the evolution of server advancements and technologies by offering compatible, high-quality memory.”

The DDR3-1333MHz 1.35V LRDIMM modules are Intel-validated, halogen-free and RoHS compliant, and will be available in densities up to 32GB and kits up to 96GB at the launch of the Intel Xeon processor E5 family.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock.

13th Sept 2011

Check out this public preview ("sneak peek") of the soon-to-be-released Sony Vegas Pro 11. Gary Rebholz of Sony describes the key features and benefits that NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs add to enhance its performance. Sony is previewing its new version with GPU acceleration that will come this fall. More than 50 effects, plus the final rendering are all improved on this OpenCL-based editing software using a Quadro 5000.


9th Sept 2011

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — 9th Sept 2011 — At IBC 2011, AMD (NYSE: AMD) unveiled AMD FirePro™ SDI-Link to address the market for real-time, GPU-accelerated post production and broadcast pipelines requiring Serial Digital Interface (SDI) input and output.   AMD FirePro SDI-Link was announced with support from the premier players in the broadcast technology market: AJA, Bluefish444, Blackmagic Design, DELTACAST, DVS and Matrox.   Targeting manufacturers, technology integrators and software developers, AMD FirePro SDI-Link allows for the design of fully featured SDI and GPU based solutions with ultra-low-latency between select AMD professional graphics cards and third party SDI input/output products.

“Integrators in the broadcast and real-time video production market can now benefit from the latest advances in GPU acceleration,” said Sandeep Gupte, General Manager of Professional Graphics at AMD. “Solutions built around AMD FirePro SDI-Link, with the support from broadcast technology leaders, are able to simultaneously solve the two key challenges facing video pipeline solution providers today: the need for flexible SDI input and output capabilities and the requirement for real-time GPU-SDI communication in an integrated solution.”

By leveraging the combined decades of SDI-related experience from AMD’s technology collaborators, along with the new AMD DirectGMA technology that allows SDI I/O products and select professional graphics cards such as the new AMD FirePro™ V7900 SDI to communicate directly over PCI Express® (PCIe), customers can build solutions for virtual sets, professional video production/post-production, on-air motion graphics, on-set 3D VFX, and other scenarios. All of this can be accomplished with ease via APIs exposed in the AMD FirePro SDI-Link software developer kit, allowing the delivery of new capabilities and feature sets with never-before-seen flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

“The video broadcast market has been seeking a reliable, quality solution for some time,” said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research. “AMD has upped the ante when it comes to the video marketplace by engaging with the top six industry leaders in this space. Kudos to AMD for tackling another market, backed by technology leadership.”

AMD FirePro SDI-Link is supported by the following companies:

“One of the most important ways we can support our customers is by providing them with accelerated workflows to boost their productivity,”
said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “AMD FirePro SDI-Link does just that, allowing AJA customers to benefit from both GPU-based and SDI solutions using AMD FirePro professional graphics and AJA's video I/O products.”

“Blackmagic Design is looking forward to adding integration between our products and the AMD FirePro SDI-Link,”
said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “By supporting AMD FirePro SDI-Link, our developers will see a revolution in performance combined with extremely low latency when building intense graphics based video solutions using Blackmagic Design desktop video products and AMD graphic cards. This will be perfect for broadcasters working in areas such as weather, live news and 3D virtual sets, where high performance graphics and extremely low processing latencies are critical."

“Bluefish444 customers have been demanding this type of collaboration between Bluefish444 and AMD for years,”
said Craige Mott, Managing Director of Bluefish444. “Until the advent of low latency transfer between our devices, Bluefish444 customers had to compromise on the amount and quality of real-time accelerated graphics they could SDI I/O using Epoch video cards. Now, between Bluefish444 and AMD we can offer the highest quality SDI I/O and the highest quality GPU accelerated graphics, all at an ultra-low latency transfer between our respective products.”

"With the support of AMD FirePro™ SDI-Link, DELTACAST answers to a typical requirement of our OEM customers",
said Christian Dutilleux, CEO of DELTACAST, "And the most important for them is that we provide a built-in solution, elegantly integrated within the worshipped VideoMasterHD SDK, and certified by both AMD and DELTACAST. Thanks to the ultra-low-latency model of the AMD DirectGMA technology, developers now benefit from the incredible processing power of the professional AMD FirePro GPUs, and from the robustness and accuracy of the DELTACAST SDI multi-channel devices, to create stunning on-air graphics applications.”

"We are very excited to team up with AMD to offer developers even more options for their high-end broadcast and post production solutions,”
said Jürgen Heger, Senior Product Manager at DVS. “The combination of the new AMD FirePro SDI-Link with DVS's Atomix family of video boards ensures an easy and low latency integration of DVS's reliable SDI input and output capabilities with the GPU power of AMD FirePro SDI graphics cards.”

“Matrox DSX Developer Products are renowned among broadcast equipment manufacturers for high performance I/O hardware, a comprehensive SDK, and outstanding applications engineering support,”
said Albert Cieri, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, Matrox. “Our collaboration with AMD on the new AMD FirePro SDI-Link adds tight GPU integration which will further enhance our customer’s broadcast graphics system performance.”

The AMD FirePro V7900 SDI professional graphics card represents a number of firsts for AMD;

·         First AMD FirePro™ professional graphics card to support AMD FirePro SDI-Link and planned certified compatibility (currently in development) with all five leading manufacturers providing PCIe cards offering advanced SDI video signal I/O capabilities.

·         First AMD FirePro professional graphics card designed specifically to address real-time professional video and broadcast graphics pipelines while delivering the same industry-leading GPU performance as the other offerings in AMD’s FirePro professional graphics line up.

·          First to leverage AMD’s exclusive AMD DirectGMA technology to help ensure system-level, low-latency synchronized data transfer between the AMD FirePro professional graphics and 3rd-party devices over the PCIe bus.

The AMD FirePro™ V7900 SDI professional graphics card is slated for availability in October 2011 for US $2499 USD, £1600 UKP or €1850 Euros MSRP.

AMD FirePro SDI-Link and AMD FirePro professional graphics are on display with industry leaders at IBC 2011 in stand 7.H35 in hall 7. Software vendors and solution providers demonstrating their use of AMD FirePro SDI-Link include: Drastic Technologies, eyeon Software, Tweak Software and Virtual Spectator. Other technology providers demonstrating at AMD’s stand include Ventuz and VizRT.

Supporting Resources

·         AMD FirePro™ SDI-Link product page

·         Twitter: Follow AMD professional graphics news on Twitter at @AMDFirePro

Facebook: Become a fan of AMD technology on Facebook

Preview to follow on all of the above soon
7th Sept 2011

SPEC improves CPU2006 Benchmark  V1.2 to become new version for SPEC website reporting on December 19


GAINESVILLE, Va., September 7, 2011 – The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. has released SPEC CPU2006 V1.2, with major upgrades that improve the user experience. After December 19, 2011, SPEC CPU 2006 V1.2 will replace V1.1 for results submissions to the SPEC website.

Better user experience

“Users should have a better benchmarking experience with V1.2, from the moment they begin testing to the reporting of results,” says Jeff Reilly, SPEC CPU subcommittee chair.


Major improvements in SPEC CPU2006 V1.2 include:
·         New automation – A program called sysinfo automatically captures information about many systems under test and includes that 
          information in reports generated by the benchmark. The program provides examples for several chips and operating systems, along with
          documentation on how users can extend automation to new systems.

·         Greater compatibility – Operating system support has been extended to the current versions of AIX, HP-UX, Irix, Mac OS X, Solaris, Windows
          and 2011 Linux distributions. SPEC has also updated the toolset for compatibility with recent CPUs, including x86, Itanium, POWER, and
          SPARC processors.

·         Response to user feedback – Improvements have been made to code and documentation in response to user suggestions and bug reports.
          Open source components used by SPEC tools have been updated to the latest versions for increased compatibility.

·         Better utilities – Key utilities have been upgraded to eliminate common errors, provide more information, and enable greater selectivity and

·         Easier maintenance for submissions – Flag files containing descriptions of compiler options are easier to maintain for those submitting
          results to the SPEC website. 

Licensing and requirements

Results generated by SPEC CPU2006 V1.2 are comparable to results from V1.1 and V1.0.  Upgrades to V1.2 are free to current licensees.  SPEC will contact existing licensees and send the new version upon verifying a shipping address.

For those without a SPEC CPU2006 license, V1.2 is available for immediate delivery on DVD from SPEC. The cost is $800 for new customers, $400 for upgrades from SPEC CPU2000, and $200 for qualified non-profit organizations and accredited educational institutions.

General requirements for running the benchmarks include a Windows or UNIX operating system, a DVD drive, 1 to 2 GB of memory per thread, 8 GB of unused disk space, and a set of compilers. More details on system requirements can be found at: http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/Docs/system-requirements.html.

Additional product and ordering information is available on the SPEC web site at www.spec.org/osg/cpu2006.  

19th Aug 2011

Robert Rodriguez Harnesses AMD Technology to Bring Brilliant Graphics and Outstanding Visual Fidelity to Latest “Spy Kids” Film

-- AMD technology enables director of “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D Aromascope” to operate at the ‘speed of thought

 SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Aug 18, 2011 — In the latest addition to the “Spy Kids” film franchise, "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D Aromascope," released August 19 by Troublemaker Studios, director Robert Rodriguez delivers stunning 3D effects at the highest visual fidelity through the use of AMD Technology   (NYSE: AMD).

For movie fans, the collaboration between Robert Rodriguez and AMD means that viewers will experience the latest “Spy Kids” movie in the way Rodriguez meant for it to be seen, with brilliant graphics and outstanding visual effects. As part of the formal collaboration announced at Comic-Con International 2011, Rodriguez plans to use VISION Technology from AMD for his future Quick Draw Production projects.

For Robert Rodriguez and his team, a new personal best was achieved thanks to AMD technology – the majority of the film’s final shots were produced in-house without the need to rely on third-party production companies and on a shorter timeline than ever before. As with previous projects, such as “Machete” and prior “Spy Kids” films, Troublemaker Studios leveraged the powerful combination of AMD's graphics and server technologies, including AMD FirePro™ professional graphics accelerators, 24-core AMD Opteron™ processor-based workstations and Dell PowerEdge™ servers, to make real-time artistic changes on the fly, allowing for an organic, streamlined creative process.

"The 'Spy Kids' movies have a history of innovation and of using the newest technologies available to push the boundaries of the viewer experience to new heights. When I set out to create the fourth chapter of the story, I wanted to deliver a visually compelling movie that would engage and delight audiences young and old,” said Robert Rodriguez. “For more than 10 years, AMD technology has consistently provided me with the quality, performance and support I need to bring to life the convergence of action-adventure storytelling and cutting-edge technology at the highest visual fidelity. AMD allows me to create quicker, composite faster and ultimately work at the speed of thought."

"Robert Rodriguez’s creative wizardry and technological skill is difficult to rival, and together we are pushing the boundaries of the visual story-teller even further, delivering brilliant HD experiences for the viewers,” said Charlie Boswell, director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD. "With 24-core AMD Opteron™ 6000 series processors and AMD FirePro™ professional graphics solutions, Robert and his team have a film that sets a new bar for this franchise and the family-friendly action genre."

AMD technology was integral to realizing Rodriguez's vision for "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D Aromascope.” By leveraging the power of AMD products for record-breaking speed, Rodriguez’s team made use of a unique mix of high-performance AMD hardware, including AMD FirePro™ professional graphics accelerators, 24-core AMD Opteron™ processor-based workstations and Dell PowerEdge ™ servers to produce the film on a tight timeline. In eight months, the post-production team was able to finalize the film, exceeding their work on “Machete” and setting a new personal best for Rodriguez and his team.

Rodriguez has announced his plans to use VISION Technology from AMD in “Heavy Metal,” “Sin City 2,” “Fire & Ice” and other future film projects.

Supporting Resources

16th Aug 2011

3DMark 11 World Record Bested 39 Times in Futuremark Lords of Overclocking Contest

Winners on Their Way to MSI MOA Grand Final in Taipei

HELSINKI, FINLAND – AUGUST 16, 2011 - Futuremark® today announced the winners of its annual Lords of Overclocking competition. The MSI sponsored event, which is Futuremark's premier OC contest each year, saw over 10,000 entries from more than 80 countries across the globe. With such worldwide interest, competition was fierce for the top prize: flights, accommodation and qualification to the MSI Master Overclocking Arena (MOA) 2011 grand final in Taipei.

- Incredibly, 39 scores submitted during the four week competition were higher than the previous world record for a single GPU.

- MSI graphics cards now hold 44 out of top 50 single-GPU scores in Futuremark's online results database.

- In a nail-biting finish, the winning score of P12499 from overclocker "SuicidePhoenix" came on the very last day of the competition.

Proving his mastery of extreme overclocking, overall winner SuicidePhoenix pushed his Intel Core i7-2600K and MSI N580GTX Lightning far beyond their factory settings as his scores demonstrate.  

- 3DMark Score: P12499 (Stock setting:P6600)
- Graphics Score: 12349 (Stock setting:6400)
- Physics Score: 13689 (Stock setting:8200)

"This year's Lords of Overclocking event brought together the world's top competitive overclockers in thrilling competition," said Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark CEO. "We congratulate the winners and thank all participants for making the contest a huge success."

"We appreciate all the efforts and amazing achievements made by worldwide participants." said Zona Lin, Marketing Manager at MSI. "We congratulate the winners and expect another success in the coming MSI MOA 2011 grand final competition!"

Lords of Overclocking was a worldwide online qualifying event for the prestigious MSI MOA 2011 competition in Taipei which will see the world's top overclockers go head to head in a fiercely fought battle of extreme overclocking.

Futuremark holds a number of overclocking competitions each year. For details of upcoming contests, please visit http://www.3dmark.com/competitions/ or follow Futuremark on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Futuremark

12th Aug 2011 SIGGRAPH 2011 News
Siggraph News from the Nvidia Booth

NVIDIA Showcased Maximum Productivity, Creativity, & Performance for Professionals at SIGGRAPH 2011

At SIGGRAPH 2011, Jeff Brown, General Manager for the NVIDIA Professional Solutions Group, summarizes all of the sights, sounds, key demos and more that show attendees experienced this year


NVIDIA Blog: NVIDIA Demonstrates Future of GPU Technology at SIGGRAPH 2011


NVIDIA Demonstrates Future of GPU Technology at SIGGRAPH 2011

This past week was a big one for NVIDIA at Siggraph 2011, the pre-eminent show for the professional computer graphics industry. We delivered tech demos and a blockbuster lineup of theater presentations from industry luminaries on the latest trends and concerns of graphics professionals.

Along with our partners Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, Dell, HP and Lenovo, we recognize the increasing need of graphics professionals for more efficient workflows, decreased turnaround times and remote project collaboration.

Two upcoming technologies were demonstrated involving some of our key ISVs and hardware-ecosystem partners: Quadro Virtual Graphics Technology and Project Maximus. These groundbreaking demos gave attendees a preview of what’s in store for them in the near future.

The Quadro Virtual Graphics Technology, also known as Project Monterey, moves the Quadro graphics card from the desktop to a remote server. This allows a user to take advantage of a Quadro graphics card via a network connection, essentially boosting the resources available to that user.

Many of the demos at the NVIDIA booth were powered by Project Maximus technology. With a Quadro 6000 graphics card mated to a Tesla GPU, upcoming Maximus-powered workstations allow graphics and modeling processes to be tasked to the Quadro graphics card, with final rendering and animation tasks handled by the Tesla GPU. This decreases the time it takes to render scenes, allowing for faster turnaround times and higher-quality production.

There was a preview of Autodesk 3ds Max 2012, incorporating NVIDIA iray in ActiveShade. Thanks to the collaborative efforts between NVIDIA and Autodesk, 3ds Max subscribers will soon be able to interactively edit their scenes while iray renders live in the 3ds Max ActiveShade viewport. By reducing the need to continually render a scene to ensure accuracy, the next generation of 3ds Max will give graphics professionals a more efficient workflow.

Adobe was also at the NVIDIA booth to show off their latest research project on 3D compositing. The demonstration showed off the power of an interactive ray-traced 3D renderer within a compositing framework that allows for ray-traced reflections, refractions and accurate lighting leveraging the power of CUDA and NVIDIA GPUs. Armed with this technology, a compositing expert could render 3D effects without having to learn a new tool.

And, to help improve remote project collaboration, we showcased our Quadro Virtual Graphics Technology, based on our ongoing Project Monterey research, allowing multiple production seats to be accessed remotely from mobile devices such as tablets so professionals can share and integrate their work collaboratively, without the need for individual desktop workstations for each user.

But it’s wasn’t just all work and no play at SIGGRAPH. NVIDIA sponsored the “NVArt 6: Moving Innovation” competition as well as hosting the NVIDIA Sketch Match competition on the show floor. We gave away tons of amazing software suites (thanks to Adobe and AutoDesk), Quadro 4000 graphics cards (thanks to PNY), Wacom tablets, and some impressive cash prizes.

Take a look at the video below to get a glimpse of what it was like to be at SIGGRAPH 2011 in person.


See you next year at SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles.

11th Aug 2011

Intel Capital Creates $300 Million Ultrabook Fund


Intel Capital creates a $300 Million Ultrabook™ Fund to help accelerate the next revolution of personal computing.

Ultrabook™ Fund targeted at technologies that will help deliver new and enhanced user experiences, longer battery life and slim component and platform technologies.

Intel Capital today announced a $300 million Ultrabook™ Fund to help drive innovation in this new category of devices. As announced at Computex earlier this year, Ultrabook systems will marry the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops with tablet-like features. Ultrabook devices will deliver a highly responsive and secure experience in a thin, light and elegant design at mainstream prices.

To help realize that vision, the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund aims to invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with Ultrabooks, achieving all-day usage through longer battery life, enabling innovative physical designs and improved storage capacity. The overall goal of the fund, which will be invested over the next 3-4 years, is to create a cycle of innovation and system capabilities for this new and growing category of mobile devices.

“Ultrabook devices are poised to be an important area for innovation in the $261 billion global computer industry,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. “The Intel Capital Ultrabook fund will focus on investing in companies building technologies that will help revolutionize the computing experience and morph today’s mobile computers into the next ‘must have’ device.”

“Celebrating 30 years of innovation, the PC is the ultimate Darwinian device and Intel is striving to again reinvent mobile computing,” said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group. “In 2003, the combination of Intel’s Centrino technology with built-in WiFi, paired with Intel Capital’s $300 million in venture investments and other industry enabling efforts, ushered in the shift from desktop PCs to anytime, anywhere mobile computing. Our announcement today is about Intel mobilizing significant investments to achieve the next historic shift in computing.”

There are three key phases in Intel’s strategy to accelerate its vision for this new category. The company’s efforts begin to unfold this year with Intel’s latest 2nd Generation Intel® CoreTM processors. This family of products will enable thin, light and beautiful designs that are less than 21mm (0.8 inch) thick, and at mainstream prices. Systems based on these chips will be available for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season.

To ship Ultrabook devices this year required significant collaboration amongst the entire computing industry. Intel has worked very closely with its customers to ensure that Ultrabook devices deliver compelling and unique value to consumers. Many OEMs have been collaborating on this effort from the very beginning.

“Ultrabook takes the best technologies and marries them with sleeker designs and extraordinarily long battery life for a new kind of computing experience,” said Peter Hortensius, Lenovo’s Product Group president. “This new type of personal computing aligns with our continual focus on engineering innovative laptop solutions that push the boundaries on mobility.”

The second phase of Intel’s vision happens around the next-generation Intel processor family codenamed “Ivy Bridge,” which is scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012. Laptops based on “Ivy Bridge” will bring improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security.

Intel’s planned 2013 products, codenamed “Haswell,” are the third step in the Ultrabook device progression and expected to reduce power consumption to half of the “thermal design point” for today’s microprocessors.

Intel Capital has a strong track record of driving innovation and growth in computing through dedicated and consistent investments in start-ups and companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation worldwide. By employing Intel’s core assets of architecture, engineering and manufacturing leadership along with capital investment, Intel Capital has helped to create the technology ecosystems which underlie many of the most widespread applications of technology today.

In addition to the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund, Intel Capital has a number of dedicated funds that drive innovations in specific geographies and technology areas. Country-specific funds include the India Technology Fund, China Technology Fund II, Brazil Technology Fund and Middle East and Turkey Fund. Past technology specific funds have included the Intel Digital Home Fund and  Intel Communications Fund.

10th Aug 2011 SIGGRAPH 2011 News
Siggraph News from the Nvidia Booth

See a first look at research from Adobe powered by NVIDIA Optix @ SIGGRAPH 2011

At SIGGRAPH 2011 Adobe is showcasing how compositing and motion graphics such as extruded text and shapes can be achieved quickly and easily thanks to the power of NVIDIA GPUs.

NVIDIA Research demonstrates interactive fluid simulation running in Maya @ SIGGRAPH 2011

This new CUDA plug-in for Maya delivers fluid simulation using smoothed particle hydrodynamics to a maya and allows for true interactivity at higher particple counts than ever experienced before.

Perceptive Pixel demos 82" multi-touch display powered by NVIDIA Quadro at SIGGRAPH 2011

This new 82" true multi-touch, projected capacitive (pro-cap) LCD display is the largest optically bonded flat-panel pro-cap display in the world. Combined with the Storyboard application and powered by NVIDIA users can tell interactive stories quickly and naturally.

NVIDIA iray renderer Maximizes Creative Workflow in 3ds Max 2012

The Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 software now offers ActiveShade rendering for the iray renderer from NVIDIA, enabling artists to iterate more effectively through interactive rendering sessions that constantly update as changes are made to cameras, lighting, materials and geometry. This new solution helps artists create and refine the look they require faster and more easily

NVIDIA and CGSociety ‘NVArt 6: Moving Innovation’ Digital Art Competition Winners Announced

Winners of the sixth annual NVArt competition were challenged to explore the future of portable technology.

SIGGRAPH 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada - August 10, 2011 -- NVIDIA and CGSociety, a division of Ballistic Media, have announced the winners of ‘NVArt 6: Moving Innovation.’ The digital art contest challenged hundreds of artists from around the world to explore the future of electronic device design, and offered them a share of a prize pool worth over $34,000 (USD).

This year’s competition was inspired by the ongoing revolution in personal computing devices. We are just at the beginning of a rapid ride into the future, and today’s current crop of smart phones, tablets and notebooks will look like they’re from the Stone Age in just a few short years as the rapid, relentless pace of technological advances never ceases. Where will the latest technological revolution take us? What will portable technology look like in the next decade? Will we carry it, wear it or maybe even plug it into ourselves? How will we interact with the next generation of tech devices? These are some of the questions that the ‘NVArt 6: Moving Innovation’ competition posed, and the following winning artists are the ones who best answered them, in the form of their innovative and inspiring still images.  

First Prize:  
http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/amscime.  Anthony Scime of the United States wins $10,000 (USD) and two NVIDIA Quadro 6000 professional graphics cards (valued at $4,999 USD ea., MSRP). The Quadro 6000 is the industry’s state-of-the-art graphics processing unit (GPU), delivering an unmatched 6GB of GDDR5 memory and up to 5x faster performance for graphics professionals. Anthony Scime came in second in last year’s NVArt 5 competition. For this year’s competition, Anthony won 1st place by creating a beautifully rendered image depicting a young girl as she interacts with a holographic learning tool. Her wonderfully bored expression indicates that in her time this magical technology is commonplace. Judge Steven Stahlberg exclaimed that it was, “Beautiful, artistic, whimsical, atmospheric.” Judge Kyle Swen liked the “nice soft style- interesting composition—attention to detail is amazing. Even the girl’s expression is compelling.” Judge Zorana Gee from Adobe commented, “Loved that the product has a story behind it. This is a beautiful painting that creates intrigue.” Judge Arnoldas Vitkus, NVArt 5’s 1st place winner from last year, admired “the materials, textures, illumination - everything is masterfully executed.” Finally, Judge Adam Benton was impressed by the fact that it was so “sensitively done, and full of character.”

Second Prize:
http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/stefgrafxStéphane Chasseloup of Spain  wins $2,000 (USD) and two NVIDIA Quadro 6000s. Chasseloup’s winning entry is a clever pull-out, all in one cylindrical device, which Judge David Wright surmised that “you can clearly perceive the device was ‘just bought’ and quick startup guides are being read, with the box freshly opened.”   
Judge Blanche described it as “having a great sense of product design, very practical idea and nice presentation.” Both Judges Benton and Swen liked the amazing amount of photorealism, and Judge Gee was impressed by the rendering and lighting.

Third Prize:
http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/cat007. Vladimir Voelk of Germany and his fan-like display device. Voelk wins $1,000 (USD) and an NVIDIA Quadro 6000. Judge Stahlberg described Voelk’s winning entry as, “a clean, beautiful, stroke of genius...  makes me think of Asia, especially Japanese minimalist design.” Judge Swen added, “We’re always trying to design objects as small and portable as possible, but with big usability features. This concept does this in a very clever way.” Judge Vitkus said that from a design standpoint this one “looks original, quite minimalistic—compact, cool fan concept and nicely rendered image.” Judge Benton states, “It looks well thought out, and is well executed. I'd have been proud of this design if it were mine.”

Fourth Prize: http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/Deler. Kamil Deluga of Poland wins an NVIDIA Quadro 6000. Judge Benton liked this entry a lot and said, “Virtual sculpting in one’s hands in this manner (or something like it) has to be an option in the future!” Judge Swen said it was “dynamically exciting.” Judge Vitkus enjoyed the simple and clean composition. Finally, Judge Wright thought it was a “very interesting approach for future interactive 3D modelling.”

Fifth Prize:
http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/ihamid. Hamid Ibrahim from the Maldives also wins an NVIDIA Quadro 6000. Ibrahim’s winning entry was described by Judge Stahlberg as “very cool, and an artistic image as well.” Judge Swen added that it was “a beautiful art piece. I like the 2D-3D transition.”

Finally, for the first time, a Special Prize for Best Product Visualization was added to the prize list. This prize (two NVIDIA Quadro 6000s) went to Szikszai Gusztav of Hungary:
http://challenge.cgsociety.org/nvart06/entry/cyber. Judge Stahlberg said with excitement, “I don't know, I just love this ring, I'd buy it even if it didn't actually do anything useful!” Judge Swen added, “Beautiful simple design, well rendered.” Judge Gee also loved it and said, “Beautiful rendering, beautiful design, I want to buy one. Very realistic, simple, clean and not gimmicky.” Judge Benton liked its simple functionality.

Congratulations from NVIDIA and CGSociety to all of this year’s winners.

Judges of the NV Art 6 competition included: Kyle Swen of Astro; Zorana Gee, Adobe product manager; Adam Benton, a designer for Apple, Nintendo and Sony; Pascal Blanche, art director of Jagex; Steven Stahlberg, 3D artist at CCP; Arnoldas Vitkus, 1st place winner, NVArt 5; Leigh van der Byl of The Moving Picture Company; David Wright, creative director, NVIDIA, and; Mark Snoswell, president of CGSociety.

The competition was created jointly with sole sponsor NVIDIA. “NVIDIA is a driving force in the graphics industry, and this competition is a great opportunity for artists to gain global exposure, along with the chance to win great prizes,” said Mark Snoswell, president of the CGSociety. “NVIDIA has been a constant and significant supporter of the CGSociety and Ballistic Media. They are major sponsors of our CG Challenges, and we continue to value and expand our working relationship with them, including their annual sponsorship of NVArt.”

About NVArt
Since its inception in 2008, NVArt has been driven by NVIDIA and the CGSociety. It has inspired artists to create some of the most imaginative and stunning work the world has seen.  NVArt has raised the digital art genre to a new level, with exhibitions of NVArt submissions appearing in fine art galleries, such as the Tate Modern in London.

About the CG Society
The CG Society is the most respected and accessible global organization for creative digital artists. The CGS supports artists at every level by offering a range of services to connect, inform, educate and promote, by celebrating achievement, excellence and innovation in all aspects of digital art. The CGSociety, along with its sister organisation Ballistic Publishing, is a division of Ballistic Media.

Ballistic Publishing is an independent publisher of books for the digital arts industry. The company established in 2003 is dedicated to producing high quality publications celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide. For more information, visit CGSociety
http://www.cgsociety.org/ and Ballistic Publishing: http://www.ballisticpublishing.com/.

9th Aug 2011 SIGGRAPH 2011 News

Siggraph News from the Nvidia Booth

Couldn’t make it to SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver this year? No problem.

Log on to the Facebook app below to hear from the technical team at NVIDIA, as well as Digital Domain (the VFX wizards behind “X-Man: First Class” and more), the world renowned Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Newtek, Adobe and more—all presenting live tomorrow in the NVIDIA Technology Theater (sponsored by HP), inside the NVIDIA booth (#453)at SIGGRAPH 2011:


A full schedule is posted on this page – it’s chock full of how-tos and great case studies from some of the masters in their fields.

Talks are streamed live – and you can post questions for NVIDIA and its speakers via Facebook.

Please note that for some demos, on screen content cannot be shown due to content rights issues, but the majority of the content is available; plus, the recordings will be posted after SIGGRAPH as well.

One thing you’re going to want to check out at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver is the Adobe pod within the NVIDIA booth, where Adobe is showcasing an experimental technology demo of GPU ray tracing for motion graphics.

By using ray tracing, a motion graphics artist can quickly generate eye catching reflections, refractions and accurate lighting – all without being a 3D rendering expert. GPUs make ray tracing practical for production. This new renderer is fast enough for you to actually scrub the timeline when using Fermi-class GPUs. With a couple of GPUs, the interaction is fast enough for you to do all your work WYSWIG within the production renderer and forget about the OpenGL mode.

Adobe’s research project is running within a test application framework that allows the compositing of 3D shape and text layers in a 3D environment. What’s remarkable is that they’re doing this with a fully ray traced renderer. While they also have an OpenGL renderer for realtime manipulation, its production rendering is 100% ray traced.

What made it practical for Adobe to build this, and reach such high performance levels, was the NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine. Adobe worked with NVIDIA to leverage OptiX to build their new renderer in just a few months. The job of OptiX is to let the developer concentrate on rendering while it handles all the intricacies of making it go fast on the GPU – and Adobe’s results are proving it’s good at its job.

Come visit the NVIDIA booth at SIGGRAPH to see this technology demo running on Quadro 6000 and Tesla class GPUs. For those of you not at the show, check out the video demo below.


NVIDIA Supports Tomorrow’s Computer Graphics Professionals

They may be students today. But in a few years, teens in the SIGGRAPH Pioneer Mentoring: Spend A Week At SIGGRAPH program will begin coming into their own as the next-generation of computer graphics artists.

The NVIDIA Foundation – which handles the company’s non-profit activities – is partnered with the Spend a Week at SIGGRAPH program to give minority and underrepresented high school students a full week’s exposure to the best of computer graphics and interactive techniques at SIGGRAPH 2012, which is taking place this week in Vancouver. To support these students, NVIDIA will be offering “cause bracelets” as part of a fundraiser for next year’s students.

SIGGRAPH attendees who donate at least $5 to support this unique cause will receive an NVIDIA cause bracelet. The NVIDIA Foundation will match every dollar donated by SIGGRAPH attendees.

The bracelets aren’t just stylish. They show your support for up-and-coming computer graphics professionals.

Donations will be accepted at all three NVIDIA booths (#453/655, #603 and #7) and at the NVIDIA Tech Talks (Monday, Aug. 8, in room 220).

For more information on the NVIDIA Foundation, visit www.nvidia.com/foundation.

8th Aug 2011 SIGGRAPH 2011 News - Prepare for a Busy Exciting Week

SPEC/GWPG announces Maya 2012 benchmark; outlines bold new vision for SPECviewperf V12


VANCOUVER, B.C., Canada, August 9, 2011 – SPEC’s Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG) today announced a new application-level benchmark for Autodesk Maya 2012 and outlined a bold new vision for its SPECviewperf performance evaluation software. The announcements were made in conjunction with Siggraph 2011 in Vancouver, B.C.


The SPECapc (SPEC Application Performance Characterization) group expects to put the finishing touches on its new Maya 2012 benchmark before the end of the year. It will replace SPECapc for Maya 2009, introduced in July 2009. Expected to follow in relatively short order are updated benchmarks for Siemens NX and SolidWorks CAD applications.


A whole new SPECviewperf


SPECviewperf 12, planned for release next year, is a ground-up rewrite of the standardized benchmarking software for measuring graphics performance, first released in 1994. The new version will improve upon the existing software in several ways:

  • It will be more flexible, supporting two application programming interfaces (APIs) – OpenGL and Direct3D – upon release and easily extensible in the future to APIs such as OpenGL ES.
  • It will be simpler to add viewsets – the testing files that recreate graphics paths for popular applications – because they will be independent plug-ins that can be defined with only five function calls. Even programmers without prior Viewperf experience should be able to generate viewsets in a few hours.
  • It will be easily portable to OSs beyond Windows.
  • It will support dynamically generated viewsets, accommodating workloads for medical imaging, CAE and other interactive applications.

While making major strides forward, SPECviewperf 12 will maintain compatibility with SPECviewperf 11, enabling performance measurement using existing viewsets.


“Version 12 will be a landmark release for a benchmark that’s acknowledged worldwide as the standard for measuring performance of workstations running professional graphics-oriented applications,” says Ian Williams, chair of the SPEC Graphics Performance Characterization (SPECgpc) group that develops SPECviewperf. “It will open up tremendous opportunities for people to measure real-world graphics performance for a wide range of applications.”


About SPEC


The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC’s membership includes computer hardware and software vendors, and leading universities and research facilities worldwide. For more information, visit: www.spec.org.

Fusion-io Teams Up With NVIDIA, Tweak Software and Thinkbox Software to Accelerate Entertainment Production

Innovative Industry Leaders Unlock Performance to Unleash Creativity in Digital Content Creation Tools Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2011

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO), a provider of a next-generation shared data decentralization platform, today announced its participation in the SIGGRAPH 2011 international conference on computer graphics and interactive technologies. Fusion-io is collaborating with a number of leading technology companies, including NVIDIA, Thinkbox Software and Tweak Software, to accelerate entertainment production by demonstrating full resolution, real-time digital content creation for many of the industry's most powerful applications.

"Entertainment artists who use Fusion's ioMemory technologies can now spend more time creating and less time waiting for content to load, playback and render," said Vincent Brisebois, Fusion-io Product Manager. "Multiple SSDs configured in a RAID can provide basic throughput, but struggle to provide the low latency required for delivering interactivity in powerful content creation applications. By working with our innovative partners NVIDIA, Thinkbox Software and Tweak Software, we are helping studios and artists unlock their creativity. Now, not only can artists do more faster, but with the flexibility offered by Fusion-io and our partners, studios can focus on the artistry that separates good from great."

In the NVIDIA booth at SIGGRAPH, (#453), the Fusion-io video wall showcases how Fusion ioMemory technology combined with the NVIDIA QuadroPlex 7000 Visual Computing System provides the throughput necessary to play 12 full HD(1080p) uncompressed video feeds simultaneously off a single workstation with interactive graphics processing unit (GPU)-based color correction. The video wall demonstration will be running on an HP Z800 workstation equipped with the NVIDIA QuadroPlex 7000 and Fusion ioMemory modules.

"Working with Fusion-io, we've created an impressive, large-scale visualization technology demonstration at SIGGRAPH for show attendees," said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. "By combining Fusion's ioMemory technology with our powerful QuadroPlex 7000, we're demonstrating how to enable real-time color correction and processing of a dozen simultaneous uncompressed HD video streams – without being bottlenecked by disk speeds."

At Autodesk booth #429, Fusion ioMemory technology will accelerate demonstrations of Autodesk Composite software, which is included in the Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Softimage software applications. The Autodesk software packages feature integrated 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and compositing tools that enable artists and designers to quickly ramp up for production.

"Autodesk Composite software can be enhanced by technologies like Fusion ioMemory to help artists see their visions come to life more quickly," said Rob Hoffmann, senior product marketing manager, Autodesk.  "When 3D artists can immediately see the impact of each tool and adjustment, their imagination is freed to try new and innovative approaches to creative storytelling."

Fusion ioMemory will be also integrated into a Supermicro SuperServer 8046B-6RF server in the Thinkbox Software Pacific Rim suite at the Fairmont hotel. This system provides increased speed and efficiency in demonstrations of Krakatoa, Thinkbox's production-proven volumetric particle rendering, manipulation and management toolkit. Krakatoa provides a pipeline for creating, shaping and rendering vast quantities of particles at unprecedented speed to represent natural phenomena like dust, smoke, silt, ocean surface foam, plasma and even solid objects.

"We have clients working with billions of particles per frame to create photo-real smoke, fire, water, creatures made of ink, and photorealistic visualization of volumetric objects such as bones and skin. When saving or loading those particles, we have found nothing faster than Fusion-io," said Chris Bond, Thinkbox Software CEO and founder. "We first tested Krakatoa 1.0 with Fusion-io. When we realized the potential of ioMemory, we optimized Krakatoa 2.0 to take advantage of its capabilities, and now our loading performance is an order of magnitude better."

In booth #963, Tweak Software will be utilizing ioMemory technology from Fusion-io to accelerate its flagship RV software. RV supports dual stream output for stereo playback, embeds audio in the SDI signal, and takes advantage of RV's flexible tools for review, editing, collaboration, an notation and comparison of media. At SIGGRAPH 2011, RV will be demonstrating its integration package that combines RV's real-time playback with the compositing abilities of The Foundry's Nuke software and Fusion ioMemory. The integration allows artists to save various iterations of their Nuke renders on the ioMemory and then immediately play them back in real-time in RV.

"Artists get a big benefit by combining the blazing fast memory technologies from Fusion-io with RV's advanced image and sequence playback abilities," said Seth Rosenthal, co-founder of Tweak Software. "The ability to stream film-res, stereo, high-dynamic-range imagery on the artist desktop or in the screening room gives artists immediate feedback so they have more time to try new things and get better results. This is all made possible by the remarkable data throughput and reduced latency offered by Fusion-io."

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Khronos™ Group today announced the immediate release of the OpenGL® 4.2 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). OpenGL 4.2 integrates developer feedback and continues the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification while maintaining full backwards compatibility - enabling applications to incrementally use new features, while portably accessing state-of-the-art graphics processing unit (GPU) functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

The OpenGL 4.2 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.20 update to the OpenGL Shading Language. The OpenGL 4.2 specification contains new features that extend functionality available to developers and enables increased application performance. The full specification is available for immediate download at http://www.opengl.org/registry.

New functionality in the OpenGL 4.2 specification includes:

  • enabling shaders with atomic counters and load/store/atomic read-modify-write operations to a single level of a texture. These capabilities can be combined, for example, to maintain a counter at each pixel in a buffer object for single-rendering-pass order-independent transparency;
  • capturing GPU-tessellated geometry and drawing multiple instances of the result of a transform feedback to enable complex objects to be efficiently repositioned and replicated;
  • modifying an arbitrary subset of a compressed texture, without having to re-download the whole texture to the GPU for significant performance improvements;
  • packing multiple 8 and 16 bit values into a single 32-bit value for efficient shader processing with significantly reduced memory storage and bandwidth, especially useful when transferring data between shader stages.

“OpenGL 4.2 has integrated feedback from developers that are shipping significant OpenGL-based applications and games, making for a faster, more capable API which will continue to evolve to meet market needs,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, working group chair of the OpenGL ARB and director of Tegra graphics at NVIDIA. “As with previous OpenGL releases NVIDIA is committed to ship productized implementations as rapidly as possible after specification release. In fact, NVIDIA released production OpenGL 4.2 drivers today, enabling developers to immediately leverage this new functionality on NVIDIA GPUs.” (Note: for more information, please visit http://developer.nvidia.com/opengl).

“AMD plans to release our OpenGL 4.2 beta drivers with the publication of the OpenGL 4.2 specification,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president, AMD Software Development (NYSE: AMD). “AMD strongly supports industry standards and congratulates the Khronos Group on their success in the rapid evolution of OpenGL and its other open standards that enable brilliant computing experiences.”

Learn about OpenGL 4.2 and Khronos APIs at SIGGRAPH 2011 BOF Meetings



Wed, August 10th




Convention Centre, Room 122 (West Building)



Wed, August 10th




Pan Pacific Hotel, Crystal Ballroom B&C



Wed, Aug 10th




Pan Pacific Hotel, Crystal Ballroom B&C

OpenGL ES/Mobile


Thu, Aug 11th




Convention Centre, Room 122 (West Building)



Thu, Aug 11th




Convention Centre, Room 122 (West Building)

Visit Khronos at booth #663 and Khronos Press & Educators Open House at booth #764 to see Khronos members display Khronos Group-developed technology in action.

17th July 2011  In June 2010 we saw the Crucial 256GB RealSSD C300 hit the streets in a big way, causing many upsets with the raw I/O performance required within todays professional workstations.   A year later and we see the successor the m4 Solid State Drive from Crucial.  For more information and how the drive performed please click here for the full article.
11th July 2011 *Exclusive* Supermicro X9SCA Workstation/Server Mainboard.   A over a year now Supermicro’s X8SAX Mainboard has been one of the most successful mainboards to fire out of Supermicro's San Jose headquarters.  It has surpassed all expectations as a reliable workhorse never faltering.  Until now.  Enter the successor the Supermicro X9SCA based upon Intel's C204 PCH Chipset.  Surpassing our complete expectations the Supermicro X9SCA has set a whole new standard in the workstation environment.   For more information and the complete article please click on this URL
9th June 2011 Akasa have announced 2 new Chassis the Venom Toxic, and Venom Strike. The Venom Toxic is the larger of the two, it is an ATX full-tower that supports the new XL-ATX form-factor motherboards with 10 expansion slots. The case is very airy, the side-panel is almost entirely perforated, with room for varying types of side-panel fans. The top holds a large 200 mm fan, and a utility tray.

The Venom Toxic also supports the new cable management features on its motherboard tray. The Venom Striker is the value ATX mid-tower, that supports standard ATX, MATX, and mITX motherboards, it looks to provide all the essentials gamers need, including good, quiet ventilation. The front panels on both chassis are up to date, including USB 3.0 ports.

The final announcement from Akasa is the 2nd generation model of its notorious Venom tower-type CPU cooler, the “Venom Voodoo”.   The Venom Voodoo has been upgraded in several places.  2 X 120mm Viper Fans now come as standard and the actual heatsink has undergone a significant change now using 6 x 6mm thick copper heatpipes to push the heat to the aluminium fins for final extraction by the secondary fan.   Fans of the original Venom Voodoo Heat Sink Fan will note that the product retains the break out colour scheme

Therefore watch these spaces as both Venom Toxic Chassis and the illusive CPU cooler Venom Voodoo will be here very soon for test and evaluation.

More information on Akasa Products please see www.akasa.co.uk


25th May 2011 Yesterday saw the official launch of AMD's new FirePro™ V5900 and V7900 professional graphics cards.   Therefore pulling out all the stops from the usual professional applications and benchmarks we gave the FirePro™ V7900 a good airing to see how it really did perform.     Could this be an option many have been looking for, giving an edge with leading CAD and DCC applications.  

For our complete review on the new AMD FirePro
V7900 please click here.
17th May 2011

Sneak Peak: Inside NVIDIA’s Emulation Lab  Fresh From in from Nvidia® and all very interesting

 We’ve never made much noise about our emulation lab. After all, the multimillion-dollar collection of
  high-performance processors we use to verify and QA our chip designs is a little bit like a secret
  weapon. But after learning that the lab is now home to the world’s largest installation of Cadence
  Verification Computing Platform Systems, we decided to open up this amazing facility for a virtual
  tour. Hidden in an out-of-the-way spot at NVIDIA corporate headquarters is a warren of specialized
  machines that work around the clock as engineers test the GPUs and mobile processors of the future.

Emulators are massive with tons of wires. This one stands 7 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 10
  feet deep

Hardware emulators re-create a specific computing environment so design engineers can test
  the design and performance of new processors after a chip has been designed but before it’s
  manufactured. It’s one thing to design a breakthrough architecture like Fermi, it’s another to
  make sure it works correctly in the real world. It’s simply not feasible to make physical
  prototypes of these chips and iterate for each design tweak. Other solutions – such as
  software simulators – are much too slow. Emulation speeds up the testing process a thousand
  fold.   Emulators are designed to provide an exact replica of actual hardware. (Software tools,
  in  comparison, simulate or mimic what a particular piece of hardware will do.) When an
  emulator is plugged in to a PC, it’s exactly like placing a physical chip on the motherboard.
  From then on, chip designers can test away.

  This huge cable comes out of an emulator, delivering the pins of the GPU inside. We
  connect the cable to a graphics card in a test PC.

  Due to the cost and complexity, not every company invests in emulation. But among those
  that do, we submit that we’re pretty intense about it. The simple reason is that having a
  world-class emulation lab means we can keep innovating ahead of our competition.

  “Today’s GPUs, which are some of the world’s most complex devices, have billions of
  transistors,” said Narendra Konda, NVIDIA engineering and emulation lab director. “There’s
  no way around the fact that cutting-edge design tools like hardware emulators are essential
  for designing, verifying, developing software drivers and integrating software and hardware
  components of GPUs and mobile processors.”

Since 1995 NVIDIA has invested millions of dollars in emulation. Today, the lab covers a vast, roughly 6,000-foot space secreted away behind locked doors. Step inside and you’re immediately surrounded by racks of equipment. Cables and pipes snake along the floors and along the walls, vents and air conditioning units create a constant whir as they work to keep these gargantuan machines cool. The emulators themselves are sleek, water-cooled beasts, each named after a major river.

“Nile” is an 8 year old emulator in our lab, still going strong.

Near the front is Tigris, a snowflake-shape configuration of sixteen chassis that was built to emulate Fermi.
  It’s physically the biggest emulator in the lab, but no longer the most powerful. That title goes to Indus, a
  multimillion-dollar steel-blue piece of hardware a little longer than a minivan.

  Three and a half years in the making, Indus was designed to handle Kepler, our next-generation chip  
  architecture and the successor to Fermi.  According to Nimish Modi, senior vice president for the System and
  Software Realization Group at Cadence, “Indus is the world’s largest installation of Cadence Verification
  Computing Platform systems, Palladium XP.  It’s great working with a partner like NVIDIA to see how our
  technologies can work together to advance this industry.”

  We worked closely with Cadence on Indus’ design – and although it’s smaller than Tigris, it’s more than twice 
  as powerful. It’s stunning to look at Indus’s mass and complexity and realize that all that power represents one

A space ship? No! It’s the “Tigris” emulator in all its glory

Filling out the lab are Rhine, Nile and a host of other emulators that might be emulating any
  number of GPUs designed for uses from mobile to gaming to supercomputing to embedded. If
  an emulator needs more power, Konda and his team can daisy chain them together in the
  same way gamers improve their system performance by running multiple graphics cards in
  SLI. The entire lab has an emulation capacity of 4 billion gates, which are the building blocks
  of a design.

“Indus” : World’s largest emulator, based on Cadence’s Palladium emulator technology.

“Deploying and managing these complex tools requires a very skilled and committed
  engineering team,” Konda said. “The great work that the emulation team does keeps this
  state-of-the-art lab humming along.”

NVIDIA’s Emulation engineering team in front of Indus – They’re one of our secret

Each emulator connects to a number of PCs which are used for testing and can be accessed
  remotely. So, for example, an NVIDIA engineer in India can log on, boot up, and start running
  tests at any time of day or night. Since all graphics processing goes back, in the end, to
  drawing triangles, the tests start there. Can this new chip draw a triangle? Can it draw a red
  triangle (not blue, not green)? Testing proceeds until everyone is satisfied that the chip can
  handle the most complex visual computing tasks and is compatible with all the necessary
  drivers, systems and so on. At any point, the designers might need to go back to the drawing
  board and repeat the process again. Once a chip graduates from the emulation lab, it’s sent out to be “fabbed” by our manufacturing partners in Taiwan and from there it’s released into the world.

Today, NVIDIA GPUs are powering supercomputers, in-flight entertainment systems and everything in between. They represent some of the most complex technology on the planet. It gives you a new perspective to stand in the emulation lab and think about the advances in these chips  – the millions and billions in R&D, the years of work – and realize each one starts out right here, trying to draw a red triangle.




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