Fermi: Entering the Era of Computational Visualization
Coinciding with SIGGRAPH, NVIDIA has launched its newest GPUs (the Quadro 4000, 5000 and 6000), based on its latest Fermi architecture, offering the long sought after "computational visualization."
"This is the holy grail," exclaimed Dan Vivoli, SVP of NVIDIA, at a recent Fermi press briefing at the company's headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. "This is the culmination of a 10-year plan."
Indeed, Fermi offers 5x the design complexity of the previous architecture and up to 8x the simulation performance. This not only solves computational difficulty but also graphic complexity, resulting in more detailed modeling and faster performance.
The 4000 features 2 GB of frame buffer memory and 356 CUDA parallel processing cores; the 5000 has 2.5 GB and 352 cores; and the 6000 has 6 GB and 448 cores.
"The speed up is truly transformative for our customers," added Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA, "giving them interactive insight and dramatically enhancing their creative process in ways that have not been possible on individual workstations before."
Meanwhile, Quadro 6000 delivers 1.3 billion triangles per second, shattering previous 3D performance benchmarks, with gains up to 8x faster when running computationally intensive applications such as ray tracing, video processing and computational fluid dynamics. In addition, all three graphics cards enable advanced capabilities for stereoscopic 3-D, scalable visualization and high-definition 3-D broadcasting.
For starters, imagine what a difference Fermi will make with Plume, Industrial Light & Magic's new fluid simulation system and GPU-based renderer built around CUDA, introduced on The Last Airbender. Plume used a 12-machine GPU-based render farm powered by the Quadro FX 5800 graphics cards.
"We fully expect the Quadro 6000 card to increase the performance of tools like Plume by several orders of magnitude," suggested Dominick Spina, NVIDIA Sr. Product Manager, Vertical Marketing Group. "Not only has the new Fermi architecture been design to address problems that are both computationally difficult and graphically intensive, but the increased frame buffer size will be allowed for the handling of massive geometry sets.