What kind of supercomputer can pre-render HD content, temporarily store it in a virtual cloud, and then stream it across the Internet to numerous portable devices? Why, AMD's upcoming Fusion Render Cloud, of course!
Sounds too good to be true? You bet it does, yet that is exactly what AMD promised today at CES 2009. Basically, the massively parallel supercomputer will enable content providers to deliver video games, PC applications and other graphically-intensive applications through the Internet. This means the calculating beast will bring HD media to laptops, smartphones and other devices through server-side rendering. Once rendered, the machine throws the "visually rich" content into a compute cloud (aka HD Cloud Computing), compresses it, and streams it real-time over wireless and broadband connections to devices that can't otherwise handle the rendering. Woof.
“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.”
So what's under the hood of this beast? According to the company, the AMD Fusion Render Cloud will include AMD Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphic processors. OTOY throws in its innovative software, taking full advantage of AMD's box of goods that together will make streaming HD possible.
“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.”
According to the company, 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.
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Sounds great! However, I would feel bad if i see a netbook in a cafe playing Crysis better then my machine at home.Reply
Go AMD Phenom II wasn't a bad release you still have some more ground to make up.
When do you think this will go mainstream anyways?
I cringe at the thought of playing any game with this considering how much lag there will be. There will be a noticeable pause between your button presses and the result on the screen, thanks to the server taking the time to render it and send the stream to you. This will severely limit the types of games you can play, mostly to puzzle games and turn-based RPGs. Don't hold your breath over playing any FPS or quick-action game with this. It won't be pretty and I think the author made a questionable choice in using Crysis as an example in the headline.Reply
THG, your doing a damn good job reporting on CES!
magicandyI cringe at the thought of playing any game with this considering how much lag there will be. There will be a noticeable pause between your button presses and the result on the screen, thanks to the server taking the time to render it and send the stream to you. This will severely limit the types of games you can play, mostly to puzzle games and turn-based RPGs. Don't hold your breath over playing any FPS or quick-action game with this. It won't be pretty and I think the author made a questionable choice in using Crysis as an example in the headline.I agree, but soemthing like final fantasy could move away from the console/Pc environment.Reply
all we need now is WOW on cellphones and the world will probably stall..Reply
handheld game devices that plays 3D MMO titles, wow!
though that will require constant and reliable wireless access.
What havok would latency create using this method in a FPS? I don't think the fiber-optic network in the US would be strong enough for this except in southern and central california. It is a good idea, just not for a twitch based game. They should charge a subscription fee to access the super computer.Reply
In the future, it will be illegal to have personal storage devices, and all media will reside in a central, controlled, supercomputer. We will have to pay for access.Reply
Of course, this will be a slow process. But if you turn the heat up by only one degree every hour, you can boil a toad alive.
They'll start by selling it to the high end market. Then, a few companies will stop making CD's, and make the switch to producing exclusively in digital.
Eventually, the only option to get media will be to pay for access to the central supercomputer's storage.
Who ever controls (owns) the central computer will control all who access it.
ANYWAYS, Crysis will never play on a cell phone as it does on a PC. Why? One word: resolution.
I don't care how good your frame rate it. 1920x1200 looks better than 80x60 any day.
I could have 100fps on max setting too if I changed my resolution to 80x60, but my monitor doesn't support it.
But therein lies the real problem. Once a central computer does all the rendering for us, net neutrality will be over. And I mean, fucking OVER.
I really don't give a shit about gaming on a cell phone, but that isn't what this article is about. This article is about paving the way for the government and media corporations to gain control of the last free media source.
And because of that, I am now going to seed 10 HD quality DVD rips, and go to bed.
Fuck you Hollywood. I'll never pay for your bullshit. Maybe if you stopped paying your actors millions of dollars, and lowered the going rate of movies to 2 bucks, I'd start paying to see movies again. But 20 million dollars to get Jim Carrey to star in a film? Paramedics don't make that much in a year! Until people who save lives get paid more than actors, Hollywood and the music industry can take a flying fuck.
Gentlemen, start your torrents.
You gotta think about something though. If they're only going to be using just over 1,000 4870 graphics cards, that means if 1,000 people log in to the computer, that's one card per person. If they have 5,000 people playing, that's 1/5 of a card per person. Remember, it's not just for cell phones. It's for PCs too. So split a Phenom II and a 4870 card across 5 people and tell me how well it's going to render Crysis on a PC monitor, along with the lag that you'll experience using your mouse for any movement. The reason MMOs do so well is because the rendering is all done client-side. Other computations such as location and damage are done server-side, and everyone who has ever played an MMO knows what kind of lag you can get from just that, granted they're not using supercomputers. But you get the point. You are always limited by the slowest component, and there is no internet connection available today that can match the speed of a PCI bus, even if the data is heavily compressed. Even if the speed was matched, the latency would be way too high. This isn't a threat to high-end gaming at all. If it were, ATI wouldn't be doing it.Reply
This is will be usefull for non-twitch games...Reply
You can EASILY play World of Warcraft with 300-500 ms. Also it isn't so straight forward, companies will have to redesign their Software to make it "Supercomputer friendly".
"The reason MMOs do so well is because the rendering is all done client-side"
I really don't know much about graphics but heres goes something to think about:
1000 people in 1 City = 1000 Calculations of geometry, physics, lighting, shades, textures... etc...
1000 People in 1 City = 1 Calculation of Geometry, physics, lighting, shades, Textures... etc...
Yes you need a badass Supercomputer to do all the calculations then adjust the settings so each player gets its little piece of the screen. But I think that's the whole idea... isn't it?
"Twicth" games (RTS/FPS) could only be played if the streaming is the video streaming is smooth enough, after all you don't need to do calculations in the client if the super computer is fast enough. I'm sure games like Starcraft, Warcraft III and Counterstrike could be adjusted to be played via streaming.