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Sony And Side Effects Software To Develop Cell-Based Solution


Sony and Side Effects Software Inc. announced today that they are working together to provide Side Effects Software’s award-winning Houdini server tools (Houdini Batch and Mantra) for Sony’s new Cell Computing Board. This joint effort can empower a new generation of content creators with the seamless integration of high-performance hardware and software.

The Cell Computing Board is designed for digital content applications where high-quality images need to be created and processed. The solution will include a range of scriptable, offline procedural 2D and 3D tools, plus a flexible Python API and a C++-based development kit.

“This exciting effort with Side Effects Software will provide Sony’s customers with a world class solution for digital content creation,” said Hugo Gaggioni, chief technology officer for Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “This technology represents 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.”

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, computer-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.

Houdini, Side Effect Software’s flagship product, is a suite for animation, 3D modeling, visual effects, simulation, compositing, and rendering. Originally designed for the motion picture industry, the software has grown to serve the needs of all markets requiring 3D work and image processing. Server farms built around the 1U Cell Computing Unit can be fed input from Side Effects Software’s workstation products Houdini Escape ($1995) and Houdini Master ($7995).

“We are very excited to be working with Sony on this project,” said Dr. Paul Salvini, chief technology officer at Side Effects Software. ”Over the past year, we have participated in a number of exploratory developments involving Sony’s Cell and RSX technologies. The demand for high-end simulation and rendering has exploded beyond film into games, broadcast, medical and scientific visualization and we look forward to working with Sony’s customers in these exciting new areas"

A prototype Cell Computing Board will be showcased in the Sony booth at SIGGRAPH (Booth #1249) as part of Sony’s 4K digital content creation pipeline.


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