AMD Supercomputer Targets HTML Delivery from Cloud Computing

At CES AMD announced their Fusion Render Cloud. has an article.

For Advanced Micro Devices, however, CES 2009 was an opportunity to talk about a supercomputer, the sort of high-tech machinery that even today tends to require at least a modest-sized room.

AMD said Thursday that by the second half of the year, it will be ready to go with the massively parallel "Fusion Render Cloud" supercomputer. And where supercomputers typically are used for rather wonky projects in energy research, weather forecasting, and such, the AMD machine is intended to help in the "deployment, development, and delivery" of high-definition content--and this brings us back to CES--to mobile devices.

Think video games and movies. Says AMD:

The system is being designed to enable content providers to deliver video games, PC applications and other graphically-intensive applications through the Internet "cloud" to virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will transform movie and gaming experiences through server-side rendering - which stores visually rich content in a compute cloud, compresses it, and streams it in real-time over a wireless or broadband connection to a variety of devices such as smart phones, set-top boxes and ultra-thin notebooks.


What this is showing is what i think you will see more of – special purpose IT equipment.  There is lots of talk on how to make the data center more efficient – hot and cold aisles, PUE, virtualization. From a few side conversations I have heard, there is more and more people who are asking the question what happens if we go for special purpose IT equipment instead of general purpose?

AMD is driving an interesting point that could be a future digital rendering data center.  Servers typically don’t have much graphics power or graphics chips at all, yet some of the most compelling end user content is video and games, requiring good graphics chips. 

What happens if you render the graphics in the data center, then stream over html?

Your audience is now the iPhone and any HTML client.

I would assume if AMD gets this working, it will be trying to sell Digital Rendering supercomputers.

The Fusion Render Cloud will use AMD gear including the Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors. It is being designed to break the petaflop processing barrier--in layman's terms, to run with the fastest of the fast supercomputers--and "to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors," AMD said.