Computer Graphics World

May / June 2017

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4 cgw m ay . j u n e 2 0 1 7 S P O T L I G H T JPR MARKET REPORT: VISUAL PROCESSORS VPUs are at the crossroads of image processing, convolution- al neural nets (CNN), machine intelligence, and the emerging augmented-reality market. A VPU is more than just an image processing algorithm co-processor, and more like a powerful subsystem that can take multiple streams of high-speed pixel data and feed a GPU for display, while simultaneously doing data analysis and extraction. As Jon Peddie Research (JPR) notes, the VPU is a relatively new device. In fact, only one company is making a complete standalone VPU core – Verisilicon – but others are on the way. Cadence has three processor cores, the P5 and P6, which are being used in classic VPU roles, and we expect them to also produce a CNN-optimized VPU. Wave Computing's Coarse Grained Reconfigurable Array and Google's Tensor Processing Unit represent new approaches to neural network training and inferencing, respectively. For cloud-based deep learning applications, those two are at the top of the class and fea- tured in the current edition of the VPU report from JPR. Other VPU-capable devices, like Ceva's XM4, Inuitive's NU 4000, and the VPU-capable processors Intel has acquired recently from Movidus, Silicon Hive, and Nervana, as well as its own remarkably capable Gen9 GPUs, are among the 38 companies identified by JPR that are making VPU-capable processors using GPUs, DSPs, and dedicated engines. Thirty-eight companies, with industry giants like Intel, TI, Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm, to name a few, don't get into a market and invest millions of dollars in R&D and acquisitions unless they see a big return. Therefore, no semiconductor, system builder, soware tool maker, or application developer can afford to ignore this emerging, maybe even explosive, market. The applications for VPUs range from super-smart prosumer cameras to automobile license readers at bridges and gateways, to airport security and nozzle monitoring of a satellite-launching rocket. With high-resolution cameras being employed in every aspect of our lives, making autonomous vehicles of all types possible, drone sur- veillance and crop assessment affordable and reliable, and face recognition at ATMs a new normal in our lives, the demand for high-performance front-end processing of the myriad of image-processing functions has never been greater. HP Offers New DreamColor Displays HP Inc. announced a true Cinema 4k display, arming color professionals with new features, like color-critical accuracy and automatic calibration. The HP DreamColor Z31x Studio Display includes an expansive color gamut for vivid colors, innovation to de- liver incredible blacks, a built-in colorimeter for self-cal- ibration, and intuitive workflow and management tools. The HP Z31x DreamColor Studio Display is scheduled to be available later this year for $3,999. Meanwhile, the 24-inch HP Z24x G2 DreamColor Display is HP's most affordable color-critical display. The HP DreamColor Z24x G2 Display is scheduled to be available to customers in early July for a price of $559. VPUs are at the center of advanced image processing, CNNs, and augmented reality. DELL ADDS TO MONITOR PORTFOLIO Dell has some new additions to its monitor offerings. The Dell Ul- traSharp 27 4k HDR Monitor (UP2718Q), the company's first HDR10 display with UHD Alliance Premium Certification, boasts an Ultra HD 4k display, with four times more detail than full HD and the depth of 1.07 billion colors. It will be available May 23 for $2,000. The compa- ny also announced the Dell UltraSharp 27 4k Monitor (U2718Q) and Dell UltraSharp 25 Monitor (U2518D) that feature Dell's innovative Infinity Edge display. Both will be available in mid-July for $700 and $500, respectively. Announced earlier this year, the Dell UltraSharp 32 8k Monitor is now available for $5,000.

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