Since 1986 - Covering the Fastest Computers in the World and the People Who Run Them

Language Flags
October 8, 2012

DreamWorks Outsources Animation Work to Chinese Petaflopper

Michael Feldman

China’s number one supercomputer, Tianhe-1A, is apparently in the movie-making business. An article in China Daily this week reports that the 2010 TOP500 crown-winner is being used to help create animated films for DreamWorks.

Tianhe-1A delivers 2.5 peak Linpack petaflops, which still earns it 5th place on the current list. It’s one of a new breed of hybrid CPU-GPU petaflop systems that are making their presence felt in the upper echelons of supercomputing.

The Tianhe-1A animation work is being done in conjunction with a local rendering firm: Cool Cartoon in Tianjin. According to the company’s chairman, Hu Yong, they’re in the process of developing a data transmission system for sending the rendered output back to clients in North America.

Super-rendering is just one Tianhe-1A task though. The article also describes work being done to support the country’s first official 3D map, Tianditu, China’s version of Google Earth. According to Meng Xiangfei, who heads the application group at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, where Tianhe-1A is hosted, they’re developing software that will improve the quality of the 3D map.

The supercomputer is also being used for seismic simulations at BGP, a geophysical service company, which is affiliated with China National Petroleum Corp, the country’s largest supplier of oil and gas. According to Meng, the simulation software was developed locally to reduce their dependency on foreign ISVs.

Car manufacturer Tianjin Motor Dies also has managed to get time on Tianhe-1A, which it uses to design car body panels and large stamping parts. According to company experts there, the design work will allow them to grow their market and move from low-end products to high-end products.

The China Daily piece didn’t describe how much of the supercomputer’s 4.7 peak petaflops are being employed for these workloads. CPU-GPU systems such as these are still proving themselves in the application domain. Later this year, the largest US-based GPU-accelerated supercomputer, Titan, will be up and running at Oak Ridge National Lab, and start moving DOE and other science applications into the hybrid computing domain.

Full story at China Daily

SC14 Virtual Booth Tours

AMD SC14 video AMD Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Cray SC14 video Cray Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Datasite SC14 video DataSite and RedLine @ SC14
Click to Play Video
HP SC14 video HP Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM DCS3860 and Elastic Storage @ SC14 video IBM DCS3860 and Elastic Storage @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM Flash Storage
@ SC14 video IBM Flash Storage @ SC14  
Click to Play Video
IBM Platform @ SC14 video IBM Platform @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM Power Big Data SC14 video IBM Power Big Data @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Intel SC14 video Intel Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Lenovo SC14 video Lenovo Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Mellanox SC14 video Mellanox Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Panasas SC14 video Panasas Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Quanta SC14 video Quanta Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Seagate SC14 video Seagate Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Supermicro SC14 video Supermicro Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video