Many announcements came out of CES last week, but not many of them have anything to do with us. Which is why AMD CEO Dirk Meyer’s proclamation that he is building a 1 PF supercomputer destined to become part of the internet infrastructure caught my attention
“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, called the Fusion Render Cloud, will be powered by Phenom II processors with “more than 1,000″ ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards. One use case is that the Fusion is supposed to move rendering of complex interactive, three dimensional scenes up onto internet Fusion Render Cloud servers and, using OTOY’s software, stream the data to a simple browser on a connected device, bringing this kind of content to devices that haven’t been able to handle it yet because of ” device size, battery capacity, and processing power” — think, cell phones and other mobile devices. Of course the fly in this ointment is that mobile network bandwidth is still pretty low, but then betting against improvements in bandwidth hasn’t been smart for a long time.
According to coverage at CustomPC, Meyer was joined on stage at CES by Lucasfilm, EA, HP and Dell, all supporting his announcement. Lucasfilm is in games, of course, but also movies, and that area is another use case for the Fusion Render Cloud
The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will also enable remote real-time rendering of film and visual effects graphics on an unprecedented scale.