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Nvidia Reveals $50,000 Iray VCA Rendering Accelerator

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments

Nvidia introduced a new appliance for rendering.

At Nvidia's GTC 2014 conference, the company introduced a GPU rendering appliance called the Iray VCA (Visual Computing Appliance). This appliance aims to eliminate the costly, lengthy process of building physical prototypes by rendering computer models with extremely high visual fidelity.

Nvidia's Iray is a photo-realistic renderer already used in Autodesk's 3ds Max and a few other tools. Not only does the appliance accelerate the renderer, but it's scalable, meaning a number of appliances can be linked together, speeding up the overall rendering by "hundreds of times."

"Iray VCA lets designers do what they've always wanted to -- interact with their ideas as if they were already real," said Jeff Brown, vice president and general manager of Professional Visualization and Design at Nvidia. "It removes the time-consuming step of building prototypes or rendering out movies, enabling designs to be explored, tweaked and confirmed in real time. Months, even years -- and enormous cost -- can be saved in bringing products to market."

According to the specs given during the keynote, this appliance costs $50,000. The device includes eight Kepler-based GPUs, 12 GB of memory per GPU, and 23,040 CUDA cores. The ingredients also consist of two 1 GigE ports, two 10 GigE ports, and one InfiniBand connection.

Nvidia reports that Iray VCAs can be located in an IT center and serve up rendering power on demand "while requiring little or no technical support." Honda is already one of the early adopters, with a prototype cluster made up of 25 nodes to refine styling designs on future cars.

The Iray VCA will be made available this summer through CADnetwork, Fluidyna, IGI and migenius. The cost includes an Iray license and the first year of maintenance and updates.

Add your comment Display 18 Comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Damon Palovaara , March 27, 2014 12:11 PM
    Wow I might have to sell my house for this, who needs a big house anyways when you have one of these. Hell you can live in your own virtual mansion if you wanted to
  • 6 Hide
    Free2play_noobs , March 27, 2014 12:21 PM
    @Damon Palovaara Obviously it is meant for enterprise use ,not for personal/Consumer use.
  • -5 Hide
    rgd1101 , March 27, 2014 1:18 PM
    In a few years it will be real-time rendering and under $500.
  • 5 Hide
    coolitic , March 27, 2014 1:19 PM
    As usual Nvidia continues to amaze me.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , March 27, 2014 1:32 PM
    Far cry from the really cool state of the art Silicon Graphics SGI workstations of old.__Honda bought 25 nodes so this is good for Nvidia, I certainly want competition for AMD ATI.
  • 5 Hide
    PlayerTwo , March 27, 2014 2:53 PM
    Quote:
    The device includes eight Kepler-based GPUs .... and 23,040 CUDA cores
    So that is 2880 CCs/GPU, meaning 8 Tesla K40 running in parallel? Wow, that's more than 11 TFLOPS of double precision power in that box.
  • 0 Hide
    eodeo , March 27, 2014 4:08 PM
    Thats equivalent of 8x 780TIs with 12gb of ram each. That's actually pretty good value, if on the expensive side for small studios."I certainly want competition for AMD ATI."Unfortunately, AMD cannot fight back as nvidia bought mental images, creators of mental ray and used it as base for iray. Iray is essentially mental ray ported to work on CUDA. There is no AMD alternative planed.
  • 0 Hide
    mr meeseeks , March 27, 2014 10:24 PM
    That is not an image of the Iray VCA. He is holding the compute module for Audi's self driving cars that fit's in a slot in the trunk. The VCA is sized to be rackmounted.
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 28, 2014 1:39 AM
    Quote:
    This appliance aims to eliminate the costly, lengthy process of building physical prototypes by rendering computer models with extremely high visual fidelity.


    Sure.... unless you actually need to test the prototype.
    You know.... like you need to do with just about every prototype....

    While a higher fidelity CAD model might be nicer for some; in the end a model is just a model is just a model.
    If you are building anything functional, you will still need to have at least one physical prototype phase to prove your system.
  • -1 Hide
    c123456 , March 28, 2014 4:36 AM
    @outlw6669: You've never used solidworks... have you?
  • 1 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 28, 2014 5:09 AM
    Quote:
    @outlw6669: You've never used solidworks... have you?


    No, but I model with Unigraphics on a daily basis.
    A little moonlighting with Catia from time to time as well :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Damon Palovaara , March 28, 2014 5:09 AM
    Quote:
    @Damon Palovaara Obviously it is meant for enterprise use ,not for personal/Consumer use.
    Who says a consumer can't use it
  • 0 Hide
    bjaminnyc , March 28, 2014 9:15 AM
    Building a cluster and leasing time to independent or lower budget filmmaker's would be a nice little lifestyle business.
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher Shaffer , March 28, 2014 10:20 AM
    But can it run Crysis....
  • 1 Hide
    Shadowarez , March 29, 2014 1:48 AM
    No it cannot.
  • 0 Hide
    tadej petric , March 29, 2014 2:57 AM
    Quote:
    Who says a consumer can't use it
    Average wallet says.Anyways this is nice from Nvidia. Though I'm far from actually using it I can see it being useful for big companys.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , March 29, 2014 10:49 PM
    Quote:
    Building a cluster and leasing time to independent or lower budget filmmaker's would be a nice little lifestyle business.
    For filmmaking, you wouldn't be using iray anyway, too many limitations.
  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , March 30, 2014 6:18 AM
    That thing looks like something steve jobs left behind from the lisa computer.So ugly to the human eye. when it's designed to create such beauty.
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