ATI FirePro™ Workstation Graphics - smart VR-Wall

ATI FirePro™ Workstation Graphics
Case Study | Schneider
ATI FirePro™ Professional Graphics and Schneider Digital:
helping the Centre for Energy Research to interpret oil and
gas field geology.
The Mini VR Wall - a new generation virtual
reality display system.
The interpretation of geological models of
hydrocarbon reservoir structures generated
from oil and gas field surveys is a complex
and difficult task. Organisations involved in
such work are increasingly turning to a new
generation of high-technology solutions to help
them in this task. One such organisation is run
by Prof. Dr. Leonhard Ganzer at the EnergieForschungszentrum Niedersachsen (Centre for
Energy Research). To help research teams to
visualize and therefore interpret such models,
Professor Ganzer now relies on the Mini VR Wall
virtual reality (VR) display system provided by
Schneider Digital using ATI FirePro™ professional
graphics cards and ATI FirePro™ S400
Synchronization Modules. Now, with the launch
of the 4 GB ATI FirePro™ V9800 professional
graphics card, the Mini VR Wall can achieve
even greater levels of performance and costeffectiveness.
Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachsen.
Operated by the Technical University of
Clausthal, the Centre for Energy Research
of Lower Saxony unites the energy research
interests of the Technical University of
Braunschweig and the Universities of Göttingen,
Hanover and Oldenburg. At the Centre, a multidisciplinary team researches the key aspects
of energy science: storage, processing, waste,
recycling, law and more. The results of this close
integration of research into the highly complex,
scientific, technical and socio-scientific issues
in the energy sector are used to support the
continuous development of energy policy,
energy law and energy industry expertise.
Schneider Digital and 3DInsight: Allies in
graphics.
Schneider Digital develops supplies and
supports customized solutions using its inhouse designed PULSARON workstation and
ATI professional graphics products. In business
for 16 years, the company is renowned for its
technical expertise and support and is able
to advise impartially on the best choice of
graphics solution to meet customer need. For
the development of customized projection
systems Schneider Digital works closely with
3DInsight, a graphics company based in Chemnitz,
Saxony. 3DInsight specializes in the design of
high quality but affordable VR installations such
as powerwalls and caves using their InsightView
renderer or the unique Virtual Graphics Adapter.
The latter converts the output of arbitrary
graphics applications (e.g. CAD systems) to
allow visualization of the data on stereoscopic
segmented displays.
Previous generation of powerwalls are hugely
expensive.
Dr. Johannes Friebe, Sales Director at Schneider
Digital, takes up the story. He says, “Professor
Ganzer’s team at the Centre for Energy Research
uses PetrelTM interpretation software to visualize
oilfield structures and the related drilling plans.
Touch screen navigation allows the selection of
specific drillings and sub-menus show the relevant
data and the relationship with other wells. Rather
than having a group of researchers sitting around
a single monitor, Professor Ganzer needed a virtual
reality video wall so that everyone could see
the image in full detail.” He continues, “However,
conventional virtual reality video walls working at a
display resolution of 4K – 4096 pixels x 3072 pixels
and four times the current 1080 High Definition
standard - can cost as much as 250,000 €
(US$ 333,000). Traditional light engines such
as video projectors that operate at such high
resolutions account for much of that cost.”
Dr. Friebe adds, “Such walls also need lots of
space, use lots of energy and generate lots of
heat. You normally need a qualified engineer
just to maintain such a system and the
calibration and alignment are usually quite
difficult.”
A New Solution at a Fraction of the cost.
There is now a better, more effective and
more affordable solution. The Mini VR
Wall is based on technology developed by
3DInsight in close cooperation with Chemnitz
University of Technology. It includes novel
hardware and software developments for
image processing and automatic calibration.
The first newly-developed Mini VR Wall
has recently been supplied to the EnergieForschungszentrum Niedersachsen. The
Mini VR Wall uses the Schneider PULSARON
virtually silent workstation along with the ATI
FirePro™ V8800 professional workstation
graphics card to deliver a 4K resolution,
auto-calibrating, four-display video wall at a
fraction of the typical cost of a traditional VR
video wall. Future Mini VR Walls should have
the option of using the new ATI FirePro V9800
graphics.
Twice as much computing capability.
The ATI FirePro™ V9800 graphics has the
industry’s highest memory bandwidth, twice
as much computing capability compared
with the previous generation and features a
scalable ultra parallel processing architecture.
The card also supports ATI Eyefinity
technology to drive multiple independent
displays simultaneously and supports
the advanced features of DirectX® 11 &
OpenGL® (up to and including OpenGL®
4.0) . The ATI FirePro™ S400 Synchronization
Module plug-in sync card can help ensure
clock-accurate synchronization for highly
segmented displays. The dedicated
processor allows up to four attached FirePro
V9800s to work in the rendering needs of the
user without compromising synchronisation.
The ATI FirePro™ V9800 professional
workstation graphics..its fast…very fast.
Dr. Friebe again, “We’ve tested it and without
doubt, the FirePro V9800 is fast, very fast.
Just one card can hold the complete graphic
data in only one frame buffer and allows us to
drive six monitors without the need for a sync
card.” For highly segmented displays the
ATI FirePro™ S400 Synchronization Module
plug-in sync card can be used to ensure
clock-accurate synchronization.
AMD Display Library a vital success
factor.
The cost of display hardware for the Mini
VR Wall was reduced significantly by using
standard TV monitors rather than a 4K
projector. Typically, TV monitors have a
longer life than projectors and dissipate far
less heat and consume far less electricity,
too. However, each segment of the image
to be displayed on each monitor had to be
synchronised so that they aligned to create
the whole image. According to Dr. Friebe,
“Using the new Display Library software
development kit from AMD, it is possible to
adjust the frequency for each output from
the V9800 to get perfect alignment. This is a
vital factor in making the solution possible.”
Everything worked first time.
Commenting, Professor Ganzer says, “Our
Mini VR Wall was installed without the need
for costly room redesign and without any
architectural changes. Everything worked
the first time and there was nothing that
did not work.” He continues, “The Mini VR
Wall is simple for us to set up and maintain.
There is no need for any time-consuming
and fiddly mechanical adjustment and no
need for dedicated and specialist engineers.
We just place the camera in front of the
video wall, press the calibration button and
it is done. The camera in combination with
the 3DInsight calibration tool automatically
adjusts everything. It takes just ten
minutes to achieve a picture that is fully
synchronised and fully aligned.” Professor
Ganzer adds, “We are using the Mini VR Wall
twice a week and always with the stereo
option, which is vital in helping us to interpret
the subtleties of our geological models.”
ATI FirePro™ V9800 professional
graphics: a market changer.
Josef J. Schneider is Chief executive of
Schneider Digital. In his opinion, “The
V9800 is a market changer. Suddenly,
there is a graphics board with a full frame
buffer that can do it all for less than 2000
Euros, which means that we can deliver a
new generation of high-resolution virtual
reality video wall at one fifth of the price
of the previous generation. Even the big
automotive manufacturers, with the need
to see their car designs in full photorealism
at 4K usually only have one or two video
walls because of the cost and because
of the problems of maintenance and
calibration. A normal design company
certainly would not be able to afford one
but now, thanks to AMD, almost every
company can justify one.”
Links
www.efzn.de
www.schneider-digital.de
www.3dinsight.de
links to ATI FirePro site
Acknowledgements
Standard trademark and image
acknowledgements
Petrel is a trademark of Schlumberger
Limited
ATI Eyefinity technology can support multiple displays using a single enabled ATI FirePro™ professional graphics card; the number of supported displays varies by card model. Microsoft® Windows® 7,
Windows Vista®, or Linux® is required in order to support more than 2 displays. Depending on the card model, native DisplayPort™ connectors and/or certified DisplayPort™ active or passive adapters
to convert your monitor’s native input to your card’s DisplayPort™ or Mini-DisplayPort™ connector(s) may be required. See www.amd.com/firepro for details.
2
ATI FirePro™ V8750 graphics accelerator required
1
ATI Eyefinity technology can support multiple displays using a single enabled ATI FirePro™ professional graphics card; the number of supported displays varies by card model.
Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, or Linux® is required in order to support more than 2 displays. Depe nding on the card model, native DisplayPort™ connectors
and/or certified DisplayPort™ active or passive adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your card’s DisplayPort™ or Mini-DisplayPort™ connector(s) may be required.
See www.amd.com/firepro for details. ATI Eyefinity technology can support multiple displays using a single enabled ATI FirePro™ professional graphics card; the number of
supported displays varies by card model. Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, or Linux® is required in order to support more than 2 displays. Depending on the card
model, native DisplayPort™ connectors and/or certified DisplayPort™ active or passive adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your card’s DisplayPort™ or MiniDisplayPort™ connector(s) may be required. See www.amd.com/firepro for details.
© 2010 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, ATI, the ATI logo, FirePro, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other names
are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. PID 48321-A
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