AMD wants to render games in the cloud

by Cyril Kowaliski — 11:16 AM on January 12, 2009

In an eyebrow-raising move, AMD has announced a supercomputer that will render games in the cloud to make them playable on "virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser."

The Fusion Render Cloud will couple Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors with the new Phenom II CPUs. AMD wants it to "break the one petaFLOPS barrier, and to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors." The chipmaker has teamed up with OTOY, which will provide the software and middleware to make this project possible.

Here's what AMD Digital Media and Entertainment Director Charlie Boswell expects from the Fusion Render Cloud:

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. . . . 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.

AMD doesn't mention how much bandwidth this service would require, nor how it would compensate for latency—and having content rendered hundreds of miles away certainly seems like it would rule out twitchy first-person shooters. Nonetheless, Shacknews says AMD demonstrated the technology during its CES presentation by streaming Mercenaries 2: World In Flames to one of HP's new Pavilion dv2 laptops. You can watch the presentation yourself here.
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  1. I'm not sure I can see them pulling this one off...
  2. Streaming to a laptop in a demo is so different to switching a flawless HD signal from your phone to your tellybox.
    Gotta be a gimmick to get people talking about Dragons capabilities.
  3. gaming on cloud? one small problem: latency
  4. I don't know but do you remember the mind boggling graphical FPS shooter .kkrieger which only required 96 kilobytes.There might be something to it after all.
  5. broadband is way too unstable and immature for this to work for this concept. its bad enough to play FPS games with the game installed when you attempt multi-player dealing with poor latency and packetloss. nice idea for a LAN but my own connection is so Jeckyl and Hyde I would give up games if this were the way they were served at this point.
    AMD please stick to your CPU's and graphics cards and stop spending r&d money on crap until your in the black.
  6. Hows about Fibre Optic? 50MBp/s service in the UK just got released.
  7. (1) This is for mobile devices, not desktops or discrete-card desktop replacements. Wimax laptops, cell phones, netbooks, net PDAs. It's less power-consuming to expand pre-rendered Flash video than to render the video.

    (2) Playing the games directly on the devices would entail low fps and apparently high latency. This new service would still have latency but the fps should be much smoother.

    (3) This counts as a luxury, not entertainment, so you're probably right that it's imprudent to be releasing this during a recession.
  8. pr2thej said:
    Hows about Fibre Optic? 50MBp/s service in the UK just got released.

    That is roughly what you would need if data is streamed in some compressed format (which it would be unless they are retarded :pt1cable: ) which would be fine for watching movies or playing RTS games but FPS games are only likely to work well if you have alow ping and there's not guarantee that the 50Mbps fibre will have (in theory it can but this is virgin media we're talking about so...).
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