AMD claims 'fastest graphics supercomputer ever'

IT vendors seem to believe that if you say the word "cloud" enough, an marginal business idea will yield up revenues and profits. Much the same thing happened with grid computing - remember that? - before it morphed with utility computing into the even more nebulous cloud moniker.

So it is with the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, which would have simply been another example of a render farm used to create 3D images for computer simulations or movies if not for the cloud bit. It includes some clever software made by OTOY that allows 3D, high-definition graphics to be rendered on a set of remote servers and then displayed down the wire to a relatively modest PC or laptop. Think of it as a mainframe for graphics processing made from workstations, and you get the right idea.

Dirk Meyer, AMD's chief executive officer, presented the Fusion Render Cloud, a cluster of machines based on AMD's Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors that will have over 1,000 GPUs and will deliver over 1 petaflop of aggregate computing power than can be brought to bear on remote rendering jobs.

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