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DreamWorks switches to Intel for stereoscopic 3-D high

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For computer animation studios, upgrading long-in-the-tooth server farms is a part of a natural cycle to keep things looking sharp. But they're a bit like butterflies flitting amongst hardware specs when it comes down to finding what they want to power "the next big thing."

Witness: DreamWorks Animation has signed on the dotted line with Intel to toss the AMD chips they've previously been using for rendering flicks.

The deal will see the studio replace approximately 1,500 Hewlett-Packard servers and 1,000 workstations using AMD processors with new HP systems based on Chipzilla's silicon.

In other words, DreamWorks clicked a different button on HP's order form.

But a mere glance at the routine, frothy announcement would have one believe the switch will provide DreamWorks with the greatest leap in rendering horsepower since — well, at least since the same thing was said about choosing AMD three years ago.

DreamWorks will be using its new Intel kit to help along the studio's latest romance - offering all films in stereoscopic 3-D beginning next year.

And why not? Stereoscopic films very nearly caught on when attempted in the 1920s, 1950s, 1970s, and the previous two decades. This time it's a sure bet.

The Intel chip lineup will usher in "new levels of detail and new capabilities to our animated feature films," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.

No wait — that quote was from the AMD release made in 2005. What we meant to print was:

"By utilizing Intel's industry-leading computing products, we will create a new and innovative way for moviegoers to experience our films in 3-D," stated Katzenberg.

The 3-D roadmap begins with "Monsters vs. Aliens" which will make its debut on March 27, 2009. Financial terms of the Intel/DreamWorks deal were not disclosed.

Please see numerous Pixar press releases for similar hardware swaps. Man, do these chip makers love courting cartoons.®

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