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Cloud

Google Buys Zync Cloud Graphics Rendering Service 20

mpicpp (3454017) writes To beef up its cloud platform with more specialized packages, Google is acquiring Zync for its large scale rendering service for movie special effects, called Zync Render. Google plans to offer the Zync service on its Google Cloud Platform, where it can be used by motion picture studios that do not want to build their own rendering farms.
Graphics

Winners of Raspberry Pi Photography Contest 2014 14

coop0030 (263345) writes Adafruit held a 2014 Raspberry Pi Photography contest that has completed with the winners selected. You can see the winning photographs as well as all of the entries. Andrew Mulholland, using a Raspberry Pi powered LEGO panobot, is the winning photographer. He's also provided a video of how his winning photographs were put together.
Patents

Appeals Court Affirms Old Polaroid Patent Invalid 45

mpicpp (3454017) writes with news of a notoriously abused (basically "method of displaying images on a machine") software patent being declared invalid. From the article: The ruling from last week is one of the first to apply new Supreme Court guidance about when ideas are too "abstract" to be patented. ... The patents in this case describe a type of "device profile" that allows digital images to be accurately displayed on different devices. US Patent No. 6,128,415 was originally filed by Polaroid in 1996. After a series of transfers, in 2012 the patent was sold to Digitech Image Technologies, a branch of Acacia Research Corporation, the largest publicly traded patent assertion company. ... In the opinion, a three-judge panel found that the device profile described in the patent is a "collection of intangible color and spatial information," not a machine or manufactured object. "Data in its ethereal, non-physical form is simply information that does not fall under any of the categories of eligible subject matter under section 101," wrote Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna on behalf of the panel.
Graphics

AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To the Test 42

Dputiger (561114) writes "It has been almost two years since AMD launched the FirePro W9000 and kicked off a heated battle in the workstation GPU wars with NVIDIA. AMD recently released the powerful FirePro W9100, however, a new card based on the same Hawaii-class GPU as the desktop R9 290X, but aimed at the professional workstation market. The W9100's GPU features 2,816 stream processors, and the card boasts 320GB/s of memory bandwidth, and six mini-DisplayPorts, all of which support DP1.2 and 4K output. The W9100 carries more RAM than any other AMD GPU as well, a whopping 16GB of GDDR5 on a single card. Even NVIDIA's top-end Quadro K6000 tops out at 12GB, which means AMD sits in a class by itself in this area. In terms of performance, this review shows that the FirePro W9100 doesn't always outshine its competition, but its price/performance ratio keep it firmly in the running. But if AMD continues to improve its product mix and overall software support, it should close the gap even more in the pro GPU market in the next 18-24 months."
Graphics

Mesa 10.2 Will Feature Better Adreno Driver, OpenMAX, Cherryview Support 21

Via Phoronix comes news that Mesa 10.2 will be released in a few days with several interesting new features. Highlights include OpenGL 2.1 support for Freedreno (the driver for the Qualcomm graphics chips), video encoding and decoding on GCN Radeons using the new OpenMAX state tracker, and initial support for Intel's upcoming Cherryview Atom SoC. Progress is being made toward OpenGL 4 support, and the llvmpipe software rasterizer finally supports OpenGL 3.2. The release won't feature a few things: the Intel Sandybridge driver still does not support OpenGL 3.3, the R9 290 Radeons are still not working (despite claims by AMD a couple of years ago that cards starting with the Radeon 8000 series would be supported by the Free Software driver at hardware release time), and OpenCL support is still experimental.
Graphics

The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality 158

rcht148 (2872453) writes "Rich Geldreich (game/graphics programmer) has made a blog post on the quality of different OpenGL Drivers. Using anonymous titles (Vendor A: Nvidia; Vendor B: AMD; Vendor C: Intel), he plots the landscape of game development using OpenGL. Vendor A, jovially known as 'Graphics Mafia' concentrates heavily on performance but won't share its specifications, thus blocking any open source driver implementations as much as possible. Vendor B has the most flaky drivers. They have good technical know-how on OpenGL but due to an extremely small team (money woes), they have shoddy drivers. Vendor C is extremely rich. It had not taken graphics seriously until a few years ago. They support open source specifications/drivers wholeheartedly but it will be few years before their drivers come to par with market standards. He concludes that using OpenGL is extremely difficult and without the blessings of these vendors, it's nearly impossible to ship a major gaming title."
Graphics

NVIDIA Unveils Next Gen Pascal GPU With Stacked 3D DRAM and GeForce GTX Titan Z 110

MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off today in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies. Two new NVIDIA innovations will be employed in their next-gen GPU technology, now know by its code named 'Pascal." First, there's a new serial interconnect known as NVLink for GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU communication. Though details were sparse, apparently NVLink is a serial interconnect that employs differential signaling with embedded clock and it allows for unified memory architectures and eventually cache coherency. It's similar to PCI Express in terms of command set and programming model but NVLink will offer a massive 5 — 12X boost in bandwidth up to 80GB/sec.

The second technology to power NVIDIA's forthcoming Pascal GPU is 3D stacked DRAM technology.The technique employs through-silicon vias that allow the ability to stack DRAM die on top of each other and thus provide much more density in the same PCB footprint for the DRAM package. Jen-Hsun also used his opening keynote to show off NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card to date, the absolutely monstrous GeForce GTX Titan Z. The upcoming GeForce GTX Titan Z is powered by a pair of GK110 GPUs, the same chips that power the GeForce GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti. All told, the card features 5,760 CUDA cores (2,880 per GPU) and 12GB of frame buffer memory—6GB per GPU. NVIDIA also said that the Titan Z's GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and feature dynamic power balancing so neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck."
Ubuntu

Canonical Ports Chromium To The Mir Display Server 63

An anonymous reader writes "Months after Intel ported the Chromium open-source web browser to Wayland, Chromium is now running on Ubuntu's Mir. The Mir display server port ended up being based on Wayland's Chromium code for interfacing with Google's Ozone abstraction framework. The Ubuntu developer responsible for this work makes claims that they will be trying to better collaborate with Wayland developers over this code." Grab the code hot off the press.
Graphics

Linus Torvalds Gives 'Thumbs Up' To Nvidia For Nouveau Contributions 169

sfcrazy writes "Linus Torvalds has had some harsh words for Nvidia in the past. Their failure to work constructively with the Linux community is especially disappointing in light of the company's large presence in the Android market. That said, where there is life, there is change, and that is just what happened yesterday. Torvalds publicly gave a thumbs-up to Nvidia for contributing basic support for the recently released Nvidia K1 processor to Nouveau; something that was totally unexpected but received with open arms. 'Hey, this time I'm raising a thumb for nvidia. Good times,' said Linus."
Graphics

Valve Working on GNU/Linux Native Open Source OpenGL Debugger 88

jones_supa writes "OpenGL debugging has always lagged behind DirectX, mainly because of the excellent DX graphics debugging tools shipping with Visual Studio and GL being left with APITrace. Valve's Linux initiatives are making game companies to think about OpenGL, and the video game company wants to create a good open source OpenGL debugger to improve the ecosystem. AMD and Nvidia have already expressed interest in helping them out. Valve has been developing VOGL mostly on Ubuntu-based distributions under Qt Creator. The software currently supports tracing OpenGL 1.0 through 3.3 (core and compatibility), and is expected to eventually support OpenGL 4.x. Many more details on VOGL can be found at Valve's Rich Geldreich's blog." This looks much nicer than BuGLe. Valve is using Mercurial for version control and they plan to throw it up on bitbucket under an unspecified open source license soon. It works with clang and gcc, but debugging with gcc is currently very slow (hopefully something that can be fixed once the source is available and the gcc hackers can see what's going on). The tracer's internal binary log format can be converted into JSON for use with other tools as well.
Ubuntu

Mir Won't Ship Even In Ubuntu 14.04 111

jones_supa writes "As can be recalled, Mir didn't make it to the Ubuntu 13.10 release to replace X.org as the display server. Back then it suffered of problems in multi-monitor support, along with other issues. Now it turns out that Canonical's product will not make it even into the next LTS version (14.04) of the Ubuntu desktop. Mir itself would be ready for showtime in the schedule, but there are problems with XMir, which is the X11 compatibility layer that ensures Mir can work with applications built for X. The comments came at the Ubuntu Developer Summit: in an online event Mark Shuttleworth stressed that the 14.04 desktop has to be rock-solid for customers with large-scale deployments, such as educational institutions. In the meantime, you can already try out Mir in your Ubuntu system."
Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review: GK110, Fully Unlocked 88

An anonymous reader writes "Nvidia lifted the veil on its latest high-end graphics board, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. With a total of 2,880 CUDA cores and 240 texture units, the GK110 GPU inside the GTX 780 Ti is fully unlocked. This means that the new card has an additional SMX block, 192 more shader cores, and 16 additional texture units than the $1,000 GTX Titan launched back in February! Offered at just $700, the GTX 780 Ti promises to improve gaming performance over the Titan, yet the card has been artificially limited in GPGPU performance — no doubt in order to make sure the pricier card remains relevant to those unable or unwilling to spring for a Quadro. The benchmark results simply illustrate the GTX 780 Ti's on-paper specs. The card was able to beat AMD's just-released flagship, the Radeon R9 290x by single-digit percentages, up to double-digits topping 30% — depending on the variability of AMD's press and retail samples."
Graphics

Improved Image Quality For HMDs Like Oculus Rift 55

An anonymous reader writes "The combination of smartphone panels with relatively cheap and light-weight lenses enabled affordable wide-angle Head Mounted Displays like the Oculus Rift. However, these optics introduce distortions when viewing the image through the HMD. So far these have been compensated for in software by using post-processing pixel shaders that warp the image. However, by doing so a loss in image quality (sharpness) can be perceived. Now researchers from Intel found a way around this error by using different sampling for rendering, therefore potentially increasing the image quality of all current and future HMDs with a wide field of view." Rather than applying barrel distortion to the final raster image, the researchers warp the scene geometry during rasterization. However, it currently requires ray tracing so it's a bit computationally expensive. Note that a vertex transformation can be used (with tessellation used to enhance the approximation), but the results are of variable quality.
Graphics

Kickstarter For Open Source GPU 108

First time accepted submitter eekee writes "The targets are high, but so is the goal: releasing Verilog source code for a GPU implementation. The source will be open source, LGPL-licensed, and suitable for loading onto an FPGA. The first target is for a 2D GPU with PCI interface; perhaps not terribly interesting in itself, but the first stretch goal is much more exciting: full OpenGL and Direct3D graphics." Unlike the Open Graphics Project, this is starting from a working 2D accelerator and mostly working 3D accelerator cloning the features of the Number Nine Ticket to Ride hardware. If they get a meelion bucks they'll overhaul the chip to support something other than PCI (although you can bridge between PCI and PCIe) and implement a modern programmable rather than fixed-function chip. Also unlike OGP, they do not appear interested in producing hardware, instead focusing entirely on the core itself for use in FPGAs (anyone want to dust off the OGD1 design?)
Graphics

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland 259

New submitter nekohayo writes "While Wayland/Weston 1.1 brought support to the Raspberry Pi merely a month ago, work has recently been done to bring true hardware-accelerated compositing capabilities to the RPi's graphics stack using Weston. The Raspberry Pi foundation has made an announcement about the work that has been done with Collabora to make this happen. X.org/Wayland developer Daniel Stone has written a blog post about this, including a video demonstrating the improved reactivity and performance. Developer Pekka Paalanen also provided additional technical details about the implementation." Rather than using the OpenGL ES hardware, the new compositor implementation uses the SoC's 2D scaler/compositing hardware which offers "a scaling throughput of 500 megapixels per second and blending throughput of 1 gigapixel per second. It runs independently of the OpenGL ES hardware, so we can continue to render 3D graphics at the full, very fast rate, even while compositing."

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