Advanced Imaging


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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Sandia National Labs Visualizes Some of the World's Largest Simulations Using NVIDIA(R) Technology

via PRNewswire
-- NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 PCI Express graphics boards -- Workstations equipped with Dual 3.6 GHz Intel Xeon EM64T processors, and 4GB of RAM -- InfiniBand 4x HCA interconnect, allowing the data to be processed across the 264 nodes

"The combination of ParaView and NVIDIA high-performance graphics hardwarehas greatly enhanced our scientific visualization abilities for large datasets. We're now able to load up, process, and visualize some of the world'slargest datasets at interactive rates," said Brian Wylie, visualization teamleader, Sandia National Labs.

"NVIDIA Quadro commercial off-the-shelf solutions provide the graphicsprocessing power in visualization systems that have traditionally relied oncostly proprietary supercomputers," said Jeff Brown, general manager forNVIDIA professional products, "NVIDIA professional platforms allow ourcustomers like Sandia to deploy solutions that are highly scalable and takeadvantage of the very latest advances in GPU technologies."

ParaView performs various operations on the data including calculatingderivative scalar fields, t-stripping, cutting, clipping, and glyphing atinteractive rates. The aggregate parallel rendering performance is deliveredvia a high performance image delivery system to the user's desktop. Fortypical simulation results, ParaView streams images from a cluster to adesktop at about 15 frames per second. This level of performance is enabled bythe latest generation of NVIDIA Quadro graphics hardware which provides fastPCI Express read-back rates. ParaView can deliver rendering performance ofover 8 billion polygons per second through Sandia's parallel rendering library(Ice-T) and Sandia's image compression system (SQUIRT).

ParaView is built on top of the popular Visualization Toolkit (VTK) andleverages cutting-edge parallel rendering algorithms and leading technology incommodity PC clusters and graphics hardware to interactively visualize some ofthe world's largest datasets. Contributors and developers currently include:Kitware, LANL, SNL, and the Army Research Laboratory. ParaView is funded bythe US Department of Energy ASC program as part of a contract awarded toKitware, Inc. by a consortium of the three ASC National Labs -- LANL, SNL, andLLNL. The goal of the project is to develop scalable parallel processing toolswith an emphasis on distributed memory implementations. The project includesparallel algorithms, infrastructure, I/O, support, and display devices. Onesignificant feature of the contract is that all software developed is to bedelivered open source. Hence ParaView is available as an open-source system.

About Sandia

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, aLockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National NuclearSecurity Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in nationalsecurity, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

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