Ciara Technologies, in collaboration with ASUS Computer International, Autodesk, Intel Corporation, Mellanox Technologies, NVIDIA Corporation, Pixar Animation Studios and Western Digital, led an industry demonstration of its “RenderBender” render farm, showcasing exceptional computing power and unmatched performance per-watt using industry standard building blocks including InfiniBand, multi-core, multi-threading and Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) technologies.

SIGGRAPH/06 is the premier international conference on digital content creation, multi-media graphics and visualization. Intel Thread Checker, Intel Thread Profiler and Intel VTune enabled Pixar to optimize performance for its new multi-threaded RenderMan Pro Server 13.0 running on Intel dual-core processors showing a greater than 3X performance improvement in ray tracing rendering calculations on dual-core Intel Xeon Processor 5100 Series (one thread vs. four threads).

“Today’s cinematic rendering requirements are extremely demanding and every bit of performance is essential to enable our customers to deliver to deadline,” commented Chris Ford, Business Director for RenderMan at Pixar Animation Studios. “Multi-threading allows Pixar’s RenderMan Pro Server 13.0 to process these highly complex scenes more efficiently by maximizing CPU and memory availability.”

The RenderBender demonstration shows a typical workflow seen in a media lab – from an artist’s workstation to Render-farm to high-res visualization nodes. Ciara’s GRAPHIXX artist-workstation, based on dual-core Intel Xeon processors, runs Maya 7.0.1 and RenderMan Artist Tools 6.5 to help create the models and apply texture and shades. Once the model is created, the dispatcher submits the rendering job to the render-farm which is based on powerful Intel Xeon processors. When the rendering is complete, the image is displayed by a high-res visualization node. SIGGRAPH/06 is the premier international conference on digital content creation, multi-media graphics and visualization technology. The entire system is powered by Intel dual-core and multi-core technologies, InfiniBand interconnects and an FBD memory subsystem, which helps achieve outstanding performance boosts for multi-threaded applications like Pixar RenderMan Pro Server 13.0.

“The new dual-core Intel Xeon processor 5100 series marks a significant milestone in Xeon technology, and enables us to offer our digital content creation customers an exceptional increase in performance,” said Patrick Scateni, Vice President of Ciara Technologies. “Our new line of servers, personal cluster and workstation demonstrates our continued leadership in being able to offer outstanding value and performance to the world’s most demanding animation companies.”

“Dual-core Intel Xeon Processors, based on the revolutionary Intel Core Microarchitecture, offer unparalleled performance and power efficiency coupled with enhanced security and reliability,” said Jim Pappas, Director of Initiative Marketing for Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. “The newly available dual-core platforms provide the performance foundation needed to run the most demanding applications such as the demonstration being shown here at SIGGRAPH.”

“This collaborative demonstration highlights the benefits that are driving so many organizations to make Mellanox 10 and 20Gb/s InfiniBand their interconnect of choice,” said Thad Omura, Vice President of Product Marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “By dramatically increasing the compute power available to applications, as well as eliminating storage I/O bottlenecks, InfiniBand based clusters feed the ever-growing creative and visualization demands of the digital creation market.”

“ASUS Server motherboard is known for the quality and performance of their products, and the DSBF-D series w/5000P is one of our best. This is a fast and feature rich board that you can install and it will do its job so well and with such reliability that you will forget it’s there,” said Brian Lin, Manager of Business Development at ASUS Computer International.