Sony And Mental Images To Bring Mental Ray® To The Cell/B.E. Platform
Sony and mental images are announcing a joint project that will allow the Academy Award® winning mental ray® high-end rendering software to operate with Sony’s new prototype Cell Computing Board in a range of visualization workflows that feature Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.) technology.
The Cell/B.E. is a high-performance microprocessor jointly developed by Sony Corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Toshiba Corporation, and IBM Corporation. According to the companies, the technology’s innovative architecture is particularly well-suited for highly parallelized, compute-intensive tasks.
The “Cell Computing Board,” developed by Sony Corporation’s B2B Solutions Business Group, incorporates the high-performance Cell/B.E. microprocessor and RSX® graphics processor to deliver high computational performance capable of handling large amounts of data at high speed while also achieving reductions in size and energy consumption.
“The processing performance made possible by combining the mental ray software application and the Cell Computing Board will innovate a variety of production workflows, especially for processing-intensive 4K cinema production,” said Hugo Gaggioni, chief technology officer in Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “This technology can represent a new solution for a range of multimedia computing applications such as very high-end computer graphics and scientific visualization that require massive quantities of data to be processed.”
mental ray is the most widely deployed commercial high-end programmable rendering software today. It is integrated with such leading digital content creation software packages as Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk® Maya® and Softimage®|XSI®, as well as CAD packages like AutoCAD®, Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA® and SolidWorks’ SolidWorks®. In addition, leading movie studios and animation houses worldwide use the standalone version of mental ray on very large render farms with thousands of processors.
“By working with Sony, we are helping to realize the next generation of high-end rendering technology, achieving new levels of efficiency for scalable on-chip parallelism and high bandwidth data transfer,” said Rolf Herken, president, CEO and CTO of mental images. “This is the key reason for Sony and mental images to develop a version of mental ray for the Cell/B.E. platform.”
An essential element of the project will be the support of mental images’s new universal MetaSL™ shading language on the Cell Computing Board platform. A large library of essential shaders will be provided. In addition, MetaSL shaders can easily be created with mental mill™, the graphical shader creation and development technology from mental images.
The companies expect to demonstrate their results in the second half of 2008.
- RSX® is a graphics processor jointly developed by NVIDIA Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
- 4K: image resolution of 4096X 2160 pixels (H x V) - more than four times the resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080).
- “Cell Broadband Engine” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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