NVIDIA is attempting to
redefine how companies leverage visualization technology to more effectively
collaborate with 3-D technology via a new line of scalable solutions based on Quadro Plex, what it
bills as a multi-GPU visual computing system.
The new Quadro Plex solutions, aimed at professionals in
fields like energy exploration, medical research, architectural design and
engineering, allow any software application running on a standard workstation
to be displayed across multiple ultra-high-resolution displays or projectors.
This kind of setup, previously only possible with highly expensive and
customized hardware and software, makes it easier to configure a range of
highly visual collaboration environments — from individual desktops to
visualization walls and network operations centers.
For engineers, the Quadro Plex systems can provide a
cost-effective way to leverage a collaborative environment for design reviews,
according to Justin Boitano, NVIDIA's senior product manager for professional
solutions products. "With this kind of collaboration environment, engineering
departments can leverage cross-functional teams in design reviews, catching
flaws earlier in the process," he explains.
While a CAVE represents the "uber" high-end of the visualization market,
the Quadro Plex systems favor more of a conference room style, with flat,
wall-mounted displays that provide a wide aspect ratio. "Design teams can see
the model in high resolution, rotate around it and get team members who are
part of the approval process to look at the 3-D model more collaboratively,"
Prior to these systems, engineering departments that wanted
similar capabilities were required to buy specialized, high-end equipment that
could sell for upwards of $1 million. In addition, instead of being able to run
standard CAD and 3-D design tools on these visualization platforms, companies
had to invest in specialized software or convince software providers to rewrite
existing programs so they could support a multi-pipe GPU architecture, Boitano
says. "Our software hides all the complexity that there are multiple GPUs," he
says. "This is now a turnkey solution to connect a single workstation" to drive
a high-resolution visualization environment.
The new NVIDA systems feature two Quadro FX 5800 GPUs and
8Gbytes of memory. By connecting two Quadro Plex systems to a single
workstation, users can view images at a resolution of 36 megapixels, span
visuals across two 4K projectors or eight auto-synchronized displays. They can
also drive stereoscopic 3-D content for a more immersive experience, NVIDIA
Quadro Plex solutions are available from NVIDIA partners
starting at $10,750 for a single Quadro Plex system.