Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Going to the Well

Accelerated number crunching makes oil and gas exploration more efficient
Integrated computation and visualization workflow
© Mercury Computer Systems
Integrated computation and visualization workflow using NVIDIA Tesla and Open Inventor from Mercury Computer Systems. Mercury Computer Systems
Input data
© Mercury Computer Systems
Input data: Seismic amplitude volume managed and visualized using Open Inventor.
Output data
© Mercury Computer Systems
Output data: Seismic attribute volume managed and visualized using Open Inventor.
NVIDIA's Tesla GPU server.
© NVIDIA
NVIDIA's Tesla GPU server.
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By Barry Hochfelder

The middleware of Open Inventor takes the large data sets and translates them into on-screen images, allowing users to do their jobs more efficiently. "Its primary purpose is to take data—seismic or surface, or even reservoir models—and translate them to 3D images on the screen," Heck explains.

The CUDA-Open Inventor 3D API provides developers with possibilities for massive dynamic or static computation capabilities on seismic data with simultaneous 3D visualization feedback.

Geophysicists are used to taking advantage of their 3D workstation to extract the best data from their seismic volumes. Some tasks require access to a supercomputing datacenter to run very complex algorithms on large and complex data volumes. NVIDIA and Mercury say their solution offers the kind of processing power normally found in a supercomputer on a standard workstation.

"3D visualization has revolutionized the understanding of seismic data, thanks to the performance provided by the GPU," said Jean Bernard Cazeaux, Vice President of the Visualization Sciences Group at Mercury Computer Systems. "GPUs allow much more than visualization; they provide amazing computing capabilities for interactive applications. Mercury has facilitated the interoperability of Open Inventor with NVIDIA's CUDA language, to provide application developers with a unique, integrated solution."



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