CEI uses commodity clusters at LLNL to shatter world graphics rendering record
8/24/2005 10:06 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)
APEX, N.C., August 24, 2005 – CEI, a leading provider of engineering and scientific graphics software, shattered the previous record for graphics rendering speed during tests last week at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). CEI engineers and Dale Southard of LLNL conducted the tests on a Linux visualization cluster used to support National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) missions. CEI’s parallel rendering compositor achieved a speed of 3.17 billion polygons per second using 76 standard dual-processor PCs running on a high-performance networking system. The scene used for testing contained 684 million triangles and ran at a rate of 4.6 frames per second.
The results of the LLNL tests more than double the 1.5 billion polygons per second speed reported this past March in tests by another DOE laboratory on a 128-node Linux cluster. Those tests used a 473-million triangle model that ran at a rate of 3.2 frames per second.
CEI’s record results have major implications for engineers and scientists who increasingly desire to visualize computational problems that require very high-fidelity data, such as hydrodynamics, large-scale structural analysis, and airflow testing using finely detailed automotive and aerospace models.
“We’ve demonstrated technology that enables commercial software to run on clusters of inexpensive, commodity visualization hardware, interactively handling visualization problems so large that they could not be efficiently processed with traditional supercomputers,” says Randall Frank, senior developer for CEI. “This is important due to the rapid increase in the size of simulation models, coupled with the need for interactivity.”
CEI’s high-efficiency parallel compositor is an enhancement to the company’s SoS (server of server) capability that is already in use worldwide to visualize some of the world’s largest simulation problems. The compositor will be a part of CEI’s new DR (distributed rendering) technology that will be incorporated this fall into the company’s EnSight, EnLiten and EnVideo visualization products.
CEI’s DR line of systems will be demonstrated at Supercomputing 2005 this November in Seattle, and at CEIViz ’06 in February in Orlando.
CEI (www.ensight.com) offers a complete suite of tools for engineering and scientific visualization, from meshing to plotting to animations that can be run on the most advanced VR displays. The company has corporate headquarters in Apex, N.C., and authorized distributors around the world. In addition to software products, CEI provides consulting services to engineers and scientists from organizations that need to visualize computational results for research, product design or product refinement.
Bob Cramblitt, Michelle Perkins
Cramblitt & Company