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Nvidia announces RealityServer

Nvidia announces RealityServer

The iray technology which features in the RealityServer principle promises to make realistic scenes a cinch to create.

Nvidia looks to be bringing 3D rendering to the cloud with the news it is to partner with rendering expert Mental Images to launch its RealityServer platform.

As reported over on Electronista, the pair are hoping to develop systems for offering web-based 3D rendering via Nvidia's high-end Tesla RS GPUs.

Designed around the company's CUDA general purpose GPU technology, the Tesla processors feature 240 individually addressable cores - and a single implementation may feature a hundred or more Tesla GPUs capable of simultaneously rendering for thousands of users. While the Tesla RS technology will be available in configurations as small as eight GPUs, the company hasn't yet revealed pricing - and if you're looking to launch a service running on hundreds it's certainly going be a concern.

Mental Images brings the RealityServer software to the party, which is designed to do the heavy lifting of 3D rendering server-side - meaning that users with relatively modestly powered systems can interact with realistic 3D objects and environments via their web browser, even on restricted platforms such as netbooks or even smartphones.

The platform offers support for iray rendering, which the company claims will allow for the creation of extremely realistic objects via a simple user interface - and can calculate shadows and reflections in a ray-tracing manner.

The initial target market for the RealityServer product is, of course, corporate - medical research, engineering, product development, and architecture are all areas which would clearly benefit from the system. That said, consumers would likely get something from the deal too - shopping portals will be viewing progress with interest.

In case you're thinking this sounds rather familiar, you're right: back in January Nvidia's rival AMD unveiled the Fusion Render Cloud project, which is substantially similar - although more aimed at allowing games to be sold on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model than for professional use.

Do you believe that this sort of technology is where cloud computing will really take off, or are you too attached to your high-end graphics card to ever allow a server to take over the heavy lifting? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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dec 21st October 2009, 12:08 Quote
as long as its cheaper than a high end GPU i think some people would try it. However, theres a sense of pride in having a expensive GPU in your case. I could see this replacing integrated GPU's though (provided theres enough internet bandwidth).
bowman 21st October 2009, 13:05 Quote
I really like the name for some reason. Better than 'Fusion Render Cloud' at any rate..
amacieli 21st October 2009, 13:45 Quote
will always be nice to have graphics without being attached to the internet
mauvecloud 21st October 2009, 15:50 Quote
I don't think the internet bandwidth is there yet - even if you could settle for 640x480 resolution, with 24 bits per pixel, and 60 fps (which is what many LCDs run at), sent uncompressed, that would take about 442 megabits per second.
HourBeforeDawn 21st October 2009, 21:08 Quote
ya in the US in terms of internet we have a LONG way to go still before this becomes a practical concept but in smaller countries where they are already setup to be fiber and all that goodness this is a bit more viable for them.
ZERO <ibis> 22nd October 2009, 00:39 Quote
As far as playing a game using it the tech is not very useful even if you had fiber as the system is going to create latency that gamers do not want and in addition it could remove mod capabilities. This tech is best left for people who do not need the results in real time.
Saivert 27th October 2009, 01:37 Quote
this is for still image renders, instead of having to wait several minutes for an image to render you only have to wait e.g 30 seconds.
It's processing power in the cloud. As long as that power is a lot more powerful than what you have locally this will make sense. Also broadband issues isn't that huge. They will use lossless compression obviously.

I guess most of you guys don't even realize how much bandwidth web TV uses.
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