At the beginning of this August, many enthusiasts were excited by the news that the Beijing Planetarium will show a digital film – Space Teenager Detective Group – featuring 8Kx8K super high resolution, the highest resolution in the world.
This world-record setting film is created by the High Performance Rendering Lab of the Beijing Planetarium, which is powered by the AMD Opteron processor-based rendering cluster. The Lab uses 30 eight-way Sun servers, which are powered by 160 AMD Opteron processors, to create a rendering cluster, becoming one of the best labs with the most powerful animation rendering cluster in China and around the world.
Space Teenager Detective Group's 8K×8K resolution is more than 30 times higher than the high-definition resolution (1920×1080) available today at home AV appliance, which requires a large amount of rendering computing.
Mr. Zhu Jin, head of the Beijing Planetarium, said: "With the new AMD Opteron-based system, we have increased our overall graphic production capacity. It can help improve the graphic quality, while requiring less time for producing digital popular science programs.
"It can cut the production time for digital astronomical programs by half and has basically got rid of all the bottlenecks we had in the previous system, " he added.
Mr. Song Yuying, director of Digital Studio of the Beijing Planetarium, said: "At the very beginning, we examined all the different combinations of different systems available in the market. Finally we found that the ‘AMD+SUN’ solution would best meet our requirements. "
"The Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport Bus technologies of the AMD Opteron processors can meet our demand for high-performance rendering, ensuring the consistency between low memory latency and cache coherence, preventing performance bottlenecks brought by system scaling, enabling high-speed data exchanges among different processor cores, and increasing the node performance," according to Song.
Target: first class graphic rendering cluster in the world
The High Performance Rendering Lab of the Beijing Planetarium is the first to use a rendering cluster with eight CPUs per node in China. It has an extremely high demand for the performance and I/O capabilities at each node. Ultimately, the Lab uses 30 servers, which are based on 160 AMD Opteron processors, to create a graphic rendering cluster, becoming one of the best labs of its kind in China and around the world.
It enables different resolutions, including 720×576, 1920×1080, 2K×2K, 4K×4K, and 8K×8K, and meets the demand of standard resolution TV, high resolution TV, digital movie, IMAX cinema and even 8K×8K format, the highest resolution available today.
It greatly improves the rendering capacity of the astronomic program production in China, representing the highest level of rendering cluster technology in the country, and bringing the High Performance Rendering Lab of the Beijing Planetarium among the top labs with the most powerful rendering cluster in China and in the world.
The High Performance Rendering Lab of the Beijing Planetarium greatly shortens the production time of digital popular science programs. In the past, it took more than a year to produce a standard 21-minute digital astronomic program for the digital space theater at the Beijing Planetarium. With the new system powered by the AMD Opteron processors, the production time is cut by half, and the production efficiency sees considerable improvement.
With the new lab in operation, the productivity is greatly improved. It not only meets the demand for digital astronomical program production for the two space theatres in the Beijing Planetarium, but also can provide additional programs to two other popular science theatres: the 3D dynamic theatre and the 4D popular science theatre. Consequently, it can save big budget for importing digital astronomical programs.
The establishment of the lab and the upcoming "Space Teenager Detective Group" are just a good start. In the future, the High Performance Rendering Lab of the Beijing Planetarium will use the rendering platform powered by the AMD Opteron processors to produce more and better popular science programs, and allow astronomy enthusiasts to enjoy exciting programs created by the AMD Opteron processors.