Real-time movie FX editing on the Flash PCIe cards
Fusion-io ioFX's 420GB block bluster for blockbusters
Fusion-io is putting a rocket up workstations in Hollywood with an ioFX flash card that features some of the technology used to create the visual effects in orphan-meets-robot family flick Hugo.
The ioFX is a PCIe-connected card with 420GB of non-volatile memory on it, providing a tier of storage between the workstation's DRAM and hard drives. It can stream data at up to 1.5GB/sec and enables the viewing of effects in movie scenes by video artists in real-time.
Ben Grossmann, the visual effects supervisor at Pixomondo - the special effects biz that worked on Oscar-bagging Hugo - said of the ioFX technology: "It helped Pixomondo not only meet tight deadlines, but also explore new ideas and approaches that otherwise might never have been possible because of the time it would take to make changes and new effects."
According to Fusion-io, video professionals can "view changes in real-time, even when working with high-resolution stereoscopic content". The ioFX card should "accelerate video playback and rendering, video and image editing and compositing, encoding and transcoding", and any other data-intensive activities required in contemporary digital production. It's claimed to allow artists to interactively collaborate on high-res, 3D 2K and 4K content that would previously have needed a large storage array.
There is an ioSphere management system included with the ioFX. It can be used to manage all the Fusion ioMemory products deployed in an infrastructure, including ioFX cards in workstations and ioDrives in servers. This software provides historical performance monitoring and reporting, real-time performance metrics and alerts.
The ioFX has a list price of $2,495, which includes a year's support, and it will be available from Fusion-io and selected resellers in late spring. You can see the ioFX at NAB in Las Vegas between 16 and 20 April.
Cisco snuggles up to Fusion-io flash tech
Cisco could be preparing to fit Fusion-io ioDrive flash to its UCS servers, making them run applications faster in their target high performance app market.
Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski was told by industry contacts that Cisco could become a major Fusion-io customer, accounting for ten percent or more of its sales, like Facebook. He calculates that if Fusion's ioDrives were used in just 2.9 per cent of shipped UCS servers then the 10 per cent mark would be reached within a year. ®
try getting 400GB of ram in a workstation?
ever try that? Yeah, didn't think so. Also having it be non volatile helps since you can turn your computer off at night, or suffer a crash and recover quicker. Staging 400GB of data from disk is going to take a while. The cost of $2500 seems really cheap if that is for 400GB of flash, a fraction of what most of their other products cost (at last check anyways).
As for Cisco becoming one of the largest Fusion IO customers - why would they be ? I mean Dell, HP and IBM have been customers/OEMs of Fusion IO for some time - any idea where they rank on the customer list? HP, to-date, as far as I know is the only one to have OEM'd fusion IO to put on a mez card on their blades.
Obviously HP/Dell/IBM have bigger market shares in servers than Cisco..
If Dell/IBM/HP are each already more than 10% then forget this comment !
Re: Dumb Question: Why not more RAM ?
"So why not just put a shed load of normal DRAM memory into the machine, and let the O/S filesystem caching kick in ?"
Because having your cache reads and writes on the same memory bus doubles the traffic, effectively halving the data throughput.
As PCIe is on the memory bus anyway, you write once to PCIe. You presumably read it off the card without involving the system bus at all.
That should, in theory, prevent the system bus becoming a bottleneck....
Re: this is silly
An ordinary GPU *is* enough. It took a lot less than a modern GPU to make the FX for everything from Tron to T2. Something with the same spec as WETA Digital's setup for the first LotR film is within reach for a keen and well-heeled amateur. The crucial ingredient is time. Halo doesn't look like Avatar simply bcos playing Halo needs a new frame at least every 100ms, and at that it's pretty ropey. But if you're rendering CGI, it doesn't matter if each frame takes a week to generate - you can generate frames a week at a time and print them as they arrive. The only questions are how long you want it to take for the render, and how realistic your CGI models are (both of physical items, and of laws of physics).