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The encoders provide real-time, lossless compression of high-resolution computer inputs such as SXGA or UXGA, Johnson says. VN-MATRIX compresses the real-time imagery to levels ranging from 1mb per second to 40 gigabits per second, making it possible to distribute information across a LAN or WAN to Network-Attached Storage or other VN-MATRIX decoding units. Audio, video and data are streamed across a network and decoded in real time at distant ends of a LAN or WAN, or recorded to NAS for playback and after-action review."
Once you have an image there are only two things you can do, display it or store it. Ciprico Inc., (Plymouth, Minn.) is working with Electrosonic on a new F-16 fighter simulation project. Because of confidentiality agreements, details are not available, however, Ciprico's Digital Media Appliance, the DiMeda™, is handling the storage of high-end graphics. The DiMeda 1712 combines multi-user file sharing services with sustained performance that exceeds a gigabit per second. The network-attached storage product (meaning that the storage doesn't have to be within a specific enclosure—it can be located anywhere within a network) has built-in Windows, Mac and UNIX support for remote file-system sharing.
"The DiMeda is being used for storing and streaming the visual data sets used in the simulator program," says Mike Ascher, Ciprico's Director for Military and Government projects. "In a typical application, they load a data set on storage. They're looking for high bandwidth, high capacity and the ability to stream data—in a lot of cases, multi-streams of visual data. It depends on the data sets and resolution."
It also features up to eight streams of high-definition video over four 1gigabit per second FTP (file transfer protocol) streams and provides third-party content management. DiMeda is a standard off-the-shelf motherboard with modifications for multi-streaming, Ascher says. "There are a lot of modifications, including caching algorithms. One of our customers has very large data sets, so they panelized the data to stream multiple panels at one time. It's how they store the data set. Then they construct the data in real time."
The device, which employs RAID (redundant arrays of independent disks) technology to protect disk drives, supports centralized file sharing between Windows clients via CIFS/SMB (Server Message Block), Mac clients via AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) and UNIX clients via NFS (Network File System).