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Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Workstation Technology at the 2017 Fujitsu Forum

More than 12,000 visitors from over 80 countries journeyed to Munich, Germany for the expertise in Tech, Data Center, Security, AI, IoT, R&D, & IT services they can expect to find at Fujitsu. We had a look at A/R, V/R and a lot of workstation tech at the Fujitsu Forum 2017.



There are very few companies offering the breadth and depth of technology that Fujitsu delivers. If for no other reason, the annual Fujitsu Forum in Munich's ICM is a pilgrimage for thousands of managers and professionals. At CADplace, we appreciated having a look at Fujitsu's graphics workstation line-up as well as the company's display of augmented reality and virtual reality technology. 


Augmenting Reality - applying technology in order to add value

Augmented reality (A/R) has taken very long to come to mainstream business and it is far from pervasive. We expect to see growth in A/R adoption accelerate within industry as the tools and systems improve in their ease of use and as implementation and management efforts drop. Fujitsu has an expertise in building software and hardware platforms for solutions and then providing the applications to glue them together for customers. Their efforts in A/R seem to follow this model. 



The A/R demonstration at the Fujitsu Forum looks at the problem of making remote, onsite workers more effective. Augmented reality can improve results for "first-time fixes" as well as deliver the company's top level of expertise to remote workers in order to make them more effective. 


Different tools can deliver the augmented, visual information to the field: tablets, eye-displays, or semi-immersive display lenses.  For this demonstration, Fujitsu showed its own headset with an augmented eye-display for delivering augmented reality content. 


The A/R system uses markers to coordinate the information flow that the worker requires. The interface uses voice activated commands to walk through the information for assistance. This information can include specific data regarding the equipment in the field as well as video to provide a rapid orientation. The system essentially attempts to capture company expertise and to convey the relevant portions of that expertise to remote workers such as those in field service and support.



Virtual Reality as a tool for creative professionals

Many professional VR tools and platforms target designers, engineers, developers, and manufacturing companies. Examples include NVIDIA's recent platform, the NVIDIA Holodeck. Tools for creative professionals include immersive 360° VR environments for video and film professionals such as those from Adobe. However, the development of immersive environments for design and development - in contrast to today's use of VR for analysis and review - is still in its infancy. Fujitsu recognizes this. Their presentation of VR for creative professionals was not their own, industrialized, shipping product but rather a tool used to start a discussion on VR and to garner a higher level of awareness regarding market needs and requirements for productive development environments.



Hence, the goal for this group at the Fujitsu Forum was to entice customers to consider new ways to create, and also to listen to these same customers for their concerns and issues. 


A top-to-bottom workstation line-up on display

It was as easy as walking in a circle, OK, a rather large circle around a large table in the Forum demonstration area.  I started with the mobile workstations. These include the CELSIUS H970 - a 17 inch, Quadro P5000 mobile workstation - and the CELSIUS H770 - Fujitsu's 15 inch Quadro-powered mobile workstation with a sleek design. The former is the system for high-end applications in engineering, simulation, creative design, and special effects.  The latter is a lighter, extremely secure, mobile workstation for 3D design, CAD, graphics, and video. 



The desktop systems begin with the smallest professional workstation CADplace has personally had in the office: the CELSIUS J550/2. This 10-liter wonder packs in a Quadro P2000. That is a feat that no other SFF workstation does and it is thanks to a custom Fujitsu design. The Quadro GPU can be accompanied by a high-end E3 Xeon CPU from Intel.  The next desktop workstation is the CELSIUS W570powerplus. This mini-tower has been on a diet and is significantly less voluminous than the previous generation. It is also the start of Fujitsu's "VR-Ready" workstations due to its support of the Quadro P4000.

The next system in the line-up has had a complete make-over. The CELSIUS M770 design has been redone literally from the ground up. Every significant portion of this workstation can be removed in less than a minute. The simple, easy-to-access design is accomplished by removing nearly every cable inside the workstation. And while it is easy to service, it is powerful, too. It can sport 2 Quadro P6000 GPUs and an Intel Xeon W-2155 with 10 cores as well as 256 GB of main memory.



Also new to the line-up is the CELSIUS R970, Fujitsu's top-of-the-line dual processor workstation. It is a workstation monster in a black chassis and it is highly expandable. The CELSIUS R970 can hold as many as 3 ultra-high-end (double-wide) Quadro GPUs such as the Quadro P6000. It can also hold as many as 7 full-length Quadro graphics cards. Fujitsu offers a version of this system which is configured with 7 graphics cards: 5 Quadro P4000 GPUs and 2 Quadro P2000 GPUs. Where might you need this much computing power? Maybe if you need Blockchain mining capabilities as described in this blog post from Fujitsu.

This system uses the Intel Platinum CPUs with up to 28 cores each – meaning a total of 58 cores in a single system. It supports up to 1 TB of main memory and is clearly designed for high-end tasks in rendering, simulation, special effects, and similarly heavy workloads.  It may not have the totally new design of its little brother, the M770, none-the-less, it is packed with enviable levels of technology. 



The workstation for the data center is Fujitsu's CELSIUS C740. This 1U design provides high-density for remote workstation systems. 


Fujitsu developed a virtual reality environment in order to show the new design features of the CELSIUS M770. This demonstration was available to all visitors & it allowed them to see the practical use of virtual reality for design projects, and also to learn about the M770 in the process. 


The CADplace Perspective

If your business needs the expertise that Fujitsu offers or if you already work with Fujitsu for services, hardware, or consulting, then a trip to this technology forum is well worth your time. As for Fujitsu's workstation line-up, the 2017 product family is complete and it delivers features and performance that many professionals need.