The take away:
“The FirePro V8800 certainly delivers the frame rates, but what many architects and engineers may find more exciting about the product is the potential for Eyefinity. Being able to drive a powerwall from a single machine is an exciting proposition, and one that could help bring large scale visualisation and clash detection into the hands of smaller organisations. But, transforming a desktop into an extended 3D accelerated workspace is even more compelling and with display prices tumbling all the time, well within reach of all companies, big and small. As more and more architect and engineers get involved with simulation, rendering and design direct on the desktop the timing could not be better.”
I wrote about using Eyefininty with a curved monitor with a video example from PC Perspective. But today I came across this great still image of an immersive display by Scalable for Windows 7 desktops using a single FirePro V8800. If this display was gesture sensitive, it would be Minority Report!
At yesterday’s Computex Press Conference, AMD unveiled their first demo of Fusion APU - the integration of the CPU and GPU into a single die.
From AMD’s senior vice president of technology & development, Rick Bergman, “This explosion in multimedia requires new applications and new ways to manage and manipulate data. Low resolution video needs to be up-scaled for larger screens, HD video must be shrunk for smart phones, and home movies need to be stabilized and cleaned up for more enjoyable viewing. When AMD formally launches the AMD Fusion family of APUs, scheduled for the first half of in 2011, we expect the PC experience to evolve dramatically.”
The first APUs are expected to ship in the first half of 2011, the 32nm “Llano” for desktops and the 40nm “Ontario” for notebooks/netbooks. Microsoft is actively working with AMD for high performance DX11.
The on-demand press conference video is available here.
Bergman starts speaking about the APU at about 44 min into the press conference. Importantly (to me) he or colleagues mention growing support for OpenGL and OpenCL!
Below is a demo of an early prototype Fusion mobile(?) processor playing a DX11 game.
A new PLM Market Place blog talks about ATI Eyefinity technology for the CAD-specific market. The multi-display technology enables CATIA and Dassault Systemes users to run up to four simultaneous high-resolution displays with a single graphics card to create a hugely expanded visual workspace, and supports Dassault Systemes’ strategy for immersive virtual reality.
If you are not familiar with the DS virtual reality efforts and interest check out 3D Perspectives, the official corporate blog of Dassault Systèmes. A recent blog post of their talks VR and how what the virtual world has to offer, is life augmented. It is technology where you can be in communion with others to innovate where it’s otherwise impossible. Until we all have the VR goggles from Caprica, multi-display technology may be the next best thing.
“The new FirePro V7800 and V4800 graphics cards fell in line with our expectations based on our previous time spent with the flagship V8800 and V5800/V3800. If you are a professional graphics user I would find it difficult to not recommend the latest Evergreen-based options when compared to the most recent Quadro releases from NVIDIA.”
“After testing all of the above the best values are the V4800 and V5800; the V4800 is a great bargain for a professional series graphics cards that performs much better than the V3800 with a pretty modest price increase. The V5800 performs pretty similarly with the V7800 in most of our tests and with a 70% lower price, unless you know you NEED the 2GB frame buffer, it just makes the most sense for developers not on an unlimited budget.”
My note: Regarding the 2GB frame buffer, where this really will have an impact is with products that take advantage of VBO for CAD (e.g. SolidWorks, CATIA) m or in products like MachStudio Pro which rely on the video frame buffer size.
3D printers are primarily intended for rapid prototyping, bypassing the traditional workflow of sending a CAD model to a machinist and waiting for a product to materialize. Instead you get direct printing of a 3D part.
ReadWriteWeb has posted a listing of the top ten videos about 3D printing. These videos are from FormZ, ProtoPulsion, Z Corp, Print2 3D, and Thing Labs. There is also a clip of the Star Trek Replicator thrown in for fun. While there are certainly more 3D printers out there like the HP 3D Designjet, this set of videos gives a nice overview of the technology.
I’m also including an 11th video of the new ZBuilder Ultra, which uses a DLP projector to “project” UV light onto each layers of UV-light curable polymers. The result is a smooth-finished prototype part that can be used immediately and withstand high-end functional testing. Develop3D has a good overview article on the Zbuilder Ultra.
I’ve been an advocate of 3D PDF as a way to easily share CAD information between engineers, designers, manufacturers and marketers. The technology was incorporated into Acrobat 9 and has been supported by many CAD vendors. This makes 3D PDF a suitable view-only solution for review/markup or even a way to distribute the precise geometry with reasonable security. Hardware acceleration with pixel shader support for manipulating the 3D PDFs in real-time is supported via DirectX.
Tech Soft 3D announced it has signed an agreement with Adobe to take over development and support of Adobe’s 3D CAD translation suite and PDF publishing SDK. The 3D PDF technology allows OEM development teams to create applications that access data from over 25 popular 3D file formats, and publish rich 3D PDF files in the highly-compressed PRC format and U3D format.
Phoronix reviews the new ATI FirePro V4800 & ATI FirePro V7800 under Linux:
Cut to the chase quotes:
“The AMD FirePro V4800 was certainly competitive in our Linux tests and filled the void between the entry-level FirePro V3800 and the mid-range FirePro V5800. In many of the tests, the V4800 was closer to performing at the V5800 levels rather than the V3800. The FirePro V4800 has an MSRP of $189 USD compared to the V3800 at $109 or the V5800 at $469. The FirePro V4800 doesn’t even cost half of what the V5800 is selling for, but its performance is respectable in comparison and both graphics card offer 1GB of GDDR5 memory, one dual-link DVI connector, dual DisplayPort connections, and have about the same power consumption. The Redwood-based V4800 is an excellent performer and for only costing about $80 more than the V3800, it is an even better bargain.”
“The FirePro V7800 does not quite perform at the V8800 levels in the most demanding tests, but there is several hundred dollars that separate the two high-end products. The FirePro V7800 should be able to suit your needs if you have a decent amount of money to spend on a new workstation graphics card, but don’t need the quad monitor Eyefinity support of the V8800 or the absolute best performance available from the Evergreen-based graphics cards. ... The FirePro V8800 also boasts a Stereoscopic output where as the V7800 does not, but both support Framelock/Genlock as well as CrossFire.”
The following video shows the production workflow integration between Maya, MachStudio Pro and PhotoShop running on a single ATI FirePro V8800. The three 2560x1600 displays are all being driven by the single FirePro graphics card using ATI Eyefinity technology.
Do multiple monitors really matter for productivity? IDC did a quick study and wrote up a whitepaper on the experience of three different companies (Cosworth, Kirkham Motorsports, and Slappy Studios) that recently made the move to multiple monitors using ATI Eyefinity. All saw notable improvements in productivity and creativity from those employees who received a multi-display upgrade.
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