Fixstars Achieves 50X Acceleration in Rendering Massive Particle CG Scene Using Violin Memory’s Violin 6616 Flash Memory Array

Solution Takes Advantage of Multi-Core Processing and Multi-Node Development Environments to Deliver Speed and Cost Improvements in Rendering Complex Images

SIGGRAPH 2012, Los Angeles, August 7, 2012 — Fixstars Solutions, the leader in multi-core software solutions, today announced it has achieved a 50X speed increase in rendering a massive particle computer graphics (CG) scene by utilizing Fixstars’ “lucille” global illumination renderer and the newest Violin 6616 Flash Memory Array from Violin Memory. The stunning results were accomplished through the combination of lucille’s superior parallel processing performance and the industry’s fastest I/O throughput provided by the Violin 6616.

Particle dynamics are an essential component of high quality CG production, enabling the execution of complex and realistically rendered natural phenomena, such as flames, explosions, smoke, splashes, mist, and hair. However, rendering particles typically requires large data sets and random storage access. In that case, the I/O speed of data storage represents a bottleneck for traditional storage solutions, which are typically composed of numerous hard disk drives (HDDs).

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Violin Memory’s Violin 6616 Flash Memory Array, which is a storage solution configured entirely from Toshiba NAND flash memory, enables faster data read-and-write times compared to traditional HDD storage systems, since it has no moving parts. Fixstars’ tests confirmed that the Violin 6616 yielded 50 times faster processing speeds than traditional HDD based solutions for rendering large data sets. CG companies can replace traditional racks of multiple HDDs  with Violin Flash Memory Arrays which can yield significant savings in rendering times computation costs and storage footprint.

Fixstars’ lucille has an enormous speed and compatibility advantages over other ray tracing renderers, since it is highly optimized to take advantage of the inherent advanced performance capabilitiesof multi-core processors and multi-node environments. The particle generation simulations were achieved by making maximum use of 4 nodes with 32 cores of 64 threaded to achieve this level of high speed performance. Similarly, the Violin 6616 provides superior performance in multi-core environments, achieving low overhead and high data rates per CPU cycle. During the simulations, the Violin 6616 sustained lucille’s high computation speed, even when comparing single vs.16 compute threads, confirming Fixstars’ view that the combination of lucille and Violin 6616 represents the perfect solution for rendering large data sets, such as dynamic particle simulations.

Don Basile, CEO of Violin Memory commented, “We are pleased to enable Fixstars set a new performance standard with their “lucille” global illumination renderer application by making the move to Violin Flash Memory Arrays that allow the full power of the application to be realized rather than being held back by legacy disk array technologies.”

“With Toshiba’s NAND flash memory chips powering all Violin Flash Memory Arrays, technology companies are able to take full advantage of the capabilities that solid state storage can deliver,” said George Bouchaya, vice president and chief technology officer at the Institute of Strategic Storage Planning and Investment of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. “Twenty-five years after inventing NAND flash, Toshiba continues to drive flash innovation forward, and it’s exciting to see solutions like the Fixstars/Violin rendering system come to life.”

Scott Frankel, lucille Product Manager at Fixstars Corporation commented, “The Violin Memory’s Violin 6616 represents an enormous step forward in performance data storage. Working hand in hand with the parallel processing capabilities of Fixstars’ lucille global illumination renderer, these two innovative products open the door to new horizons in computer graphics rendering.”

Fixstars is demonstrating the high speed particle rendering at SIGGRAPH 2012, August  7th to 9th in Los Angeles, with Violin Memory and Toshiba, who developed the NAND flash memory embedded in the Violin 6616. To see us at the SIGGRAPH, please visit booth #761. If you have any inquiry or would like to make an appointment, please contact us at the following e-mail address or telephone number,.

 

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