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AMD Unveils Supercomputer In The Cloud

Dubbed the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, the system is expected to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors.
Advanced Micro Devices has partnered with software maker OTOY to build a supercomputer that companies can use to deliver online video games and other graphically intensive applications.

The companies unveiled the massively parallel system, called the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, on Thursday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The partners plan to have the system ready by the second half of this year.

The supercomputer will reach a speed of more than 1 petaflop, which is the ability to perform 1 quadrillion scientific calculations a second. The system is expected to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors, according to AMD president and chief executive Dirk Meyer, who made the announcement during his CES keynote.

"We anticipate it to be the fastest graphics super computer ever," Meyer said, according to an AMD statement. "And it will be powered by OTOY's software for a singular purpose: to make HD [high-definition] cloud computing a reality."

The system is being designed to deliver graphically intensive applications through the Internet to any type of mobile device with a Web browser, AMD said. The supercomputer would boost the quality of the user experience by handling all the application processing and then compressing the data before streaming it over a wireless or broadband connection. By delivering remotely rendered content, devices that lack the battery capacity and processing power to render high-definition content would still be able to display the streamed movies, games, or other content.

The system will be powered by AMD-optimized hardware, including the company's Phenom II processors, 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors. AMD plans to provide the hardware and engineering resources, while OTOY will provide the technical software development and middleware layer. OTOY develops software and special effects for the video game and movie industries.