Friday, February 20, 2009

Technology & Entertainment News: Charlie Boswell & AMD Prepare to Launch the Fusion Render Cloud Supercomputer

Before I learned the innovative plans that Director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD--Charlie Boswell-- had to launch a Fusion Render Cloud Supercomputer, the only thing I knew about AMD is that it's a reliable chip that makes my HP computers run well. Ahem, even on Vista... (well, okay some of the time but that's really not AMD's fault).

AMD: The Future is Fusion

As a film lover and one who is always stoked to discover the newest technological devices on the market (which I can seldom afford)-- from iPods to iPhones to Blackberries to Mini PCs to Tablet Computers to Blu-ray Players and HD-- I'm one of the only women I know who is far more ambitious to wander around an electronics megastore than I am to go to the mall any day of the week.

While I won't even pretend to fully grasp the following announcement fully-- I must say the idea of offering viewers, gamers, and filmmakers (just to name a few) the opportunity to have access to alter and toy with whatever we're experiencing-- is thrilling to my inner-geek.

Normally, I'd say, "inner-nerd" but Boswell-- who's coined the phrase Global Nerding as something against which consumers and innovators must both fight-- but his plans working with not just AMD but Lucasfilm, Dell Computers, HP, and Electronic Arts are truly groundbreaking.

Check out the videos below and be sure to read the full story-- one that came directly from the source as I'm in awe, extremely confused, but totally impressed.

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An Interview With Charlie Boswell:
Director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD


You can check out what Charlie and AMD are doing with filmmakers, musicians, gamers, and artists here:

Visit Boswell's Blog

AMD Live!

Click Here to Learn More About Global Nerding

AMD and OTOY's Video Demonstration:
“Don’t Just Play Movies, Play In Them."

Ignite Gaming Performance

(Video Game Widget & Demo)

Read the Full Story
January 8th, 2009
(From the Press Release)

"Today at CES, AMD (NYSE: AMD - News) President and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Meyer and OTOY Chief Executive Officer Jules Urbach unveiled a plan to revolutionize the deployment, development and delivery of HD content through the “AMD Fusion Render Cloud,” a massively-parallel supercomputer. The announcement took place during AMD’s Industry Insider Series keynote at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, where AMD was joined on stage by industry luminaries such as Lucasfilm, Dell, HP and Electronic Arts.

“AMD has a long track record in the supercomputing world. Seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest machines, including the fastest two computers on the planet, are powered by AMD hardware,” said Meyer. “Today, AMD is pleased to announce a new kind of supercomputer unlike any other ever built. It is being designed to break the one petaFLOPS barrier, and to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors. We anticipate it to be the fastest graphics supercomputer ever. And it will be powered by OTOY’s software for a singular purpose: to make HD cloud computing a reality. We plan to have this system ready by the second half of 2009.”

"The system is being designed to enable content providers to deliver video games, PC applications and other graphically-intensive applications through the Internet “cloud” to virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will transform movie and gaming experiences through server-side rendering – which stores visually rich content in a compute cloud, compresses it, and streams it in real-time over a wireless or broadband connection to a variety of devices such as smart phones, set-top boxes and ultra-thin notebooks. By delivering remotely rendered content to devices that are unable to store and process HD content due to such constraints as device size, battery capacity, and processing power, HD cloud computing represents the capability to bring HD entertainment to mobile users virtually anywhere.

"The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will also enable remote real-time rendering of film and visual effects graphics on an unprecedented scale. Gaming companies can use the AMD Fusion Render Cloud for developing and deploying next-generation game content, to serve up virtual world games with unlimited photo-realistic detail, and take advantage of new delivery channels as open and diverse as the web itself.

“Hosted on AMD’s powerful new AMD Fusion Render platform, OTOY’s revolutionary software has given birth to the world’s first practical, scalable graphics supercomputer capable of true server-side HD cloud rendering. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will allow directors like Robert Rodriguez of Troublemaker Studios to break through existing CPU-only and graphics processor-only render bottlenecks which have imposed limitations on the creation of true eye-definition assets,” said Charlie Boswell, Director of Digital Media and Entertainment, AMD.

“I use big technology to stay ahead of the artistic curve and that technology has been and continues to be AMD’s. Having the means to create interactive eye-definition movie and game assets with the AMD Fusion Render Cloud and to then to make them available to a broader audience through new distribution methods will bring about a renaissance in content creation and consumption,” said Robert Rodriguez, Director, Troublemaker Studios. “Imagine watching a movie half-way through on your cell phone while on the bus ride home, then, upon entering your home or apartment, switch over to your HD TV and continue watching the same movie from exactly where you left off, seamlessly, and at full screen resolution,” continued Boswell. “Imagine playing the most visually intensive first person shooter game at the highest image quality settings on your cell phone without ever having to download and install the software, or use up valuable storage space or battery life with compute-intensive tasks. Those are just some of the experiences that AMD and OTOY plan to make possible with HD cloud computing of visually rich entertainment content.”

“By fusing industry-leading CPU technology with computationally dense, massively parallel graphics processors, the AMD Fusion Render Cloud can rival the world’s most powerful industrial computing devices, but require just a fraction of the floor space, power envelope and cost associated with many of today’s leading supercomputers,” said Jules Urbach, Chief Executive Officer, OTOY. “Combined with the power of OTOY’s revolutionary and flexible software platform, the AMD Fusion Render Cloud can transform the entertainment industry and remove the technical barriers between consumers and first-rate content experiences.”

"The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will be powered by AMD-optimized hardware including the AMD Phenom™ II processors, AMD 790 chipsets and ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 graphics processors, for unprecedented compute density and power efficiency. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud is an excellent example of AMD’s Fusion strategy, combining its partners’ dreams with AMD innovation, to bring powerful technologies to mainstream markets through the combined power of graphics processors and CPUs in a single platform.

“At Electronic Arts, we have been lucky enough to be a part of the creation of a number of changes in the world of personal computer gaming. From the first PCs to CD gaming to the advent of Internet gaming, we have embraced each new evolution of technology as an opportunity to bring new experiences to our customers,” said Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts. “OTOY and AMD are at the cutting edge of thin client gaming, and we look forward to the new customers we can reach and the new interactive expressions that emerge from revolutionary technology like the AMD Fusion Render Cloud.”

AMD plans to provide the hardware and engineering resources for the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, with OTOY providing technical software development and a middleware layer."