Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2021

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j a n • f e b • m a r c h 2 0 2 1 c g w 3 1 Jan•Feb•March 2021: COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD (USPS 665-250) (ISSN-0271-4159) is published bi-monthly with special additional issues in January and July resulting in 8 issues per year by COP Communications, Inc. Corporate offices: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204, Tel: 818-291-1100; FAX: 818-291-1190; Web Address: Periodicals Postage Paid at Glendale, CA, 91205 & additional mailing offices. COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD is distributed worldwide. Annual subscription prices are $72, USA; $98, Canada & Mexico; $150 International airfreight. To order subscriptions, call 847-559-7310. © 2021 CGW by COP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No material may be reprinted without permission. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by Computer Graphics World, ISSN-0271-4159, provided that the appropriate fee is paid directly to Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. Prior to photocopying items for educational classroom use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. For further information check Copyright Clearance Center Inc. online at: The COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD fee code for users of the Transactional Reporting Services is 0271-4159/96 $1.00 + .35. POSTMASTER: Send change of address form to Computer Graphics World, P.O. Box 3296, Northbrook, IL 60065-3296. were sent over the Internet, and no copy of the data (model) is on the local machine. The mobile workstations and remote VM machines were the perfect answer for the gig workers and the DCCs and designers. In addition to rack, tower, notebook, and cloud, new form factors like HP's Z2 G5 mini-workstation were developed. It's worth noting that making machines smaller that run cooler and quieter is ideal for home settings. Changing IT needs. The pandemic cre- ated an urgent need in IT departments. They had to shi from managing systems on-site to supporting remote hardware and so- ware. Many security-conscious organizations, including production studios, financial trad- ing, and automotive design, have never let hardware or access to data out of their sight, let alone their internal controls. However, they had to quickly develop support for mobile solutions at remote locations to maintain business continuity. Before moving users off campus, the strategy was to keep the data secure inside the building or data center confines while maintaining the performance needed for workstation-class workflows. Cost of capital goods vs. operation expenses. Working at home will drive more remote scenarios, especially for the users of big WS systems. Corporations hoping to avoid the cost of duplication of buying two big workstations – one for the office before COVID, and one for the engineers at home – looked to the cloud and hoped to shi capital expense (CapEx) to opera- tional costs (OpEx). That didn't give quite the savings hoped for because engineers who would leave their machines running 24/7 found out that the cloud provider was charging them by the minute – every minute. The meter was running. This led CFOs to ask the engineers to limit their time in the cloud, and that, as you can imagine, led to some interesting conversations. Cloud and security. Organizations that design multimillion- to multibillion-dollar projects – from feature-length movies to jetliners, new cars, and bridges and sky- scrapers – don't want their IP stolen. Every major company in the industry is working on security. Like so many other things, there is no single answer. Microso thinks it has a solution and has introduced a new security chip it calls Pluton. It is the result of a part- nership between Microso, AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm. Pluton could be a more unified approach. Maybe better than what is done on Linux/OSX. Collaboration. Before COVID, many industries, particularly the film industry, talked about and even experimented with collaboration via the Web. When COVID hit, the studios and other organizations suddenly were forced to embrace, and make work, collaboration. Once they got past the learning curve, they discovered there was incredible value in it. Alternatives to a workstation. The branding and superior construction of work- stations will go on. But the elements that differentiate a workstation from a high-end PC will be more difficult to discern. Certification vs. none. Certifications of applications as a distinction of a workstation will continue to decline in importance be- cause consumer-class devices can handle general-purpose professional graphics appli- cations like 2D and simple photo editing. Uptime and mission-critical. Worksta- tion products have always been lauded as the solution for mission-critical workflows, where performance is king, in order to meet strict production deadlines. Many workflows that are multi-threaded by design take advantage of multi-core systems, and even GPU compute engines continue to scale well with increasing core count. There continues to be strong demand for more performance across video and movie production work- flows. With the move to 8K, growing data set analysis in oil & gas and automotive & aerospace design and analysis, as well as a growing AI and data-science capabilities, all the soware solutions in these segments take advantage of high core count worksta- tion solutions. Looking ahead. Where do we sit with Moore's law? The original ROI from Dr. Moore's observation (a doubling of perfor- mance at the same price) has changed, some say slowed down, but the perfor- mance continues to improve with each semiconductor generation, and not just by 2X. Therefore, workstation performance should be better, either by faster hardware or better heterogeneous computing models and system architecture. The same goes for reliability. All the leading workstation suppliers have it down to a science. If a system (or your phone) fails in, say, two years, it's because it was designed that way. New concepts and designs are on the threshold. The RISC-V adoption is expand- ing and is a candidate for a low-cost future workstation. A new GPU architecture has been pro- posed using a MIMD architecture in place of the traditional SIMD used today. It's worth noting that with market drivers of the workstation platform unlikely to sub- side anytime soon, there is no reason that workstations should not keep outperform- ing other client computing platforms. On a relative basis, there is a healthy long-term outlook – subject to unforeseen economic conditions. However, that outlook must con- sider a possible shi in the type of platform within the overall market – for example, moving from deskside workstations to data- center types and a continued, more robust growth for mobiles. Dr. Jon Peddie (, president of Jon Peddie Research, is a recognized author and pioneer in the graphics industry.

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