The NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference is the place to find leading edge companies and leading edge technologies. There was much talk of virtual reality and GPUs in the data center. Fujitsu showed solutions in both areas.
Fujitsu has solutions targeting professionals in CAD, Engineering, and Design including their own remote graphics workstation solution as well as a complete virtual reality workstation. In addition, a seasoned partner, encad consulting, which helps customers plan and implement these technologies in an efficient and productive manner, joined Fujitsu at the NVIDIA GTC Europe.
Virtual Reality, VR, has been a key industrial tool in design visualization for nearly 2 decades. This has often required a dedicated display environment and equipment costing 10s of thousands to hundreds of thousands of Euros. These are called Computer Aided Virtual Environments or CAVEs.
The rise of readily available, professional quality head-mounted displays (HMDs) along with extremely powerful professional GPUs is expanding the use VR for designers and engineers. This growth comes through the ability to integrate this solution into existing VR environments as well as increasing situations where VR can be applied productively in an industrial environment.
The VR experience is different in an open, fully displayed CAVE and in a closed, self-contained HMD. The HMDs are subject to visual delays and visual latency when the engineer moves inside the virtual environment. Visual latency causes a kind of motion sickness that is referred to as VR sickness.
Avoiding VR sickness means the workstation performance is critical. Running correctly in a virtual reality environment with a HMD requires significantly more computing and graphics power than is required, for example, to run high-level CAD programs. Virtual environments are typically complex. The display in a HMD is very high resolution. And the frame rates must be quite high and for the two eyes. And with constant movement inside the virtual environment, the system is constantly displaying new visual information.
Therefore it is important to combine a set of powerful technologies for a professional VR system. The workstation must contain the right level of processing performance and a powerful GPU in combination with a high-quality, professional HMD. Workstations are the ideal products for full immersive experience. Fujitsu offers two NVIDIA® VR Ready™ CELSIUS workstations:
The professional usage model for modern workstations and HMDs include the possibility to enhance and extend the capabilities of CAVE solutions for decision-making processes in design and manufacturing. Using HMDs, it is possible to integrate team members from external locations into a CAVE design review.
HMD-based VR systems also allow much more immersive, and therefore informative, professional applications which could be used by both professionals as well as end-consumers. For example, in architecture, a VR environment with a HMD is a very practical solution for a project manager of a new office complex. A similar solution is beneficial for consumers who are building or remodeling a home.
The new solutions will grow the market for VR hardware and application and it will expand the use of virtual environments to make many industries more efficient. Another technology trend, which is quietly making industry more efficient, is the trend toward remote graphics workstations.
In the same way that client-server applications allowed companies to become more efficient and more effective, the difficult problem of providing high-performance workstation applications to remote users is being solved and implemented in companies today With the CELSIUS C740, Fujitsu offers a rack-mounted graphics workstation solution. Fujitsu also offers a remote visualisation technology that they refer to as a Remote Virtual Environment Computing solution or RVEC.
RVEC was developed specifically with the power-graphics user in mind, merging three features critical for them to work effectively on remote systems: performance, accuracy and collaboration. It uses a Fujitsu proprietary compression protocol and intelligent hybrid frame buffer encoding to minimize data transferred with zero loss of information. This is fundamental for ensuring CAD users are able to freely manipulate the model in 3D yet resolve every detail of the image. Collaboration mode then enables users to dynamically share their display across their team. Wherever they are located, at different sites and countries within the organization or even within partner companies, all participants will see an identical image at the same speed and precision.
RVEC is a software-only client-server solution, giving maximum flexibility, and is delivered as a fully managed system within Fujitsu’s HPC Gateway intelligent application platform. Gateway ensures secure access control to remote workstations, publishes and schedules available resources, and establishes the client-server connection with a single click.
RVEC can support any workstation application and even the most graphically intense applications. Perhaps one of its strong points is delivering remote graphics applications, such as simulation pre- and post-processing, which are also computing intensive. RVEC allows such users to have a single interface to a workstation and to the associated applications and where the workstation resides in the same data center as their HPC resources.
Fujitsu, by providing solutions like RVEC and remote workstations like the CELSIUS C740, can make companies more effective. And Fujitsu also works with partners, such as the team at encad consulting,, to support customer planning and implementation for these solutions. The encad team is no stranger to CAD, PLM, and professional computing. They are long-standing partners of Fujitsu as well as partners with Dassault Systèmes. This allows encad to support customers who require complex, albeit very productive, IT environments for design, engineering, and manufacturing.
The focus of the NVIDIA GTC in Amsterdam recognized the trend in modern computing that flows through VR, HPC, and professional graphics. The solutions from Fujitsu are certainly well synchronized with these trends and the demands of the market.