Thursday, 8 July 2010



GPUs Help Render Images of 2.1 Billion-Year-Old Fossils

Posted: 08 Jul 2010 10:00 AM PDT

NVIDIA technology played a role in a remarkable discovery about ancient fossils and the origins of multicellular life. Going back 2.1 billion years in the fossil record, researchers concluded that 1-centimeter long structures found in Gabon are the remains of multicellular life forms. Now, this is a big deal in paleobiology because previously no one had ever seen multicellular fossils this old that were big enough to be seen by the naked eye. The Gabon fossils are more than 200 million years older than what was previously on record, and they come a billion and a half years before multicellular organisms really take off in the period known as the Cambrian explosion. Their existence helps paleobiologists discover more about the conditions of early life.


So how did NVIDIA help establish this new link in evolutionary history? The scientists used a technique called microtomography-based imaging to analyze the fossils. Microtomography uses X-rays to take multiple cross sections of an object – the same idea as regular tomography used in medical imaging, except on a much smaller scale. To reconstruct the images from individual X-ray slices is incredibly computationally intensive work – and that's where GPUs come in. Etudes Recherches Matériaux, based in Poitiers, France, completed the reconstruction and rendering using an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 and a Tesla C870 and Digisens DigiCT software, this software is dedicated to electron tomography for Biology and Materials Sciences: alignment, reconstruction, visualisation and universal data export for quantitative analysis. Digisens is a Emerging Company from the region of Annecy in France. You can see videos of the work they did at this link (in French).


To learn more about the Gabon fossils, pick up the July issue of Nature (it's the cover story). Or learn more about GPUs and tomography here in the nTersect archives.

Post-Race Wrap: NASCAR in 3D

Posted: 08 Jul 2010 08:00 AM PDT

NASCAR in 3D was awesome, and my ears are still ringing from the Coke Zero 400 track in Daytona. Turner Sports placed five 3ality 3D cameras around the track to catch all of the action, and during the live race you had the option to switch between the action camera and the pit cams. It was really an interactive and unique way to experience NASCAR, and also marked the first live 3D Vision with Silverlight streaming event.


If you missed the live fun this weekend, don't worry as it's still up at:

For now, you can even watch all 5.5 hours worth of footage and a short highlight clip. Unfortunately, the dedicated pit cam view has been taken down, but we'll hopefully have a longer highlight package for you shortly.


There were a lot of cool shots, but here are some quick highlights to check out on the stream:

  • Green flag 1:55:30
  • First Pit 2:10:10
  • Wreck 3:51:45
  • Huge Wreck 4:31:10
  • End of race wreck 5:05:50
  • Checker Flag 5:18:00
  • Fireworks 5:19:40
  • Winner Circle 5:25:53

If you're interested in learning a bit more about the production, you can find some info from the Silverlight team here.

And, if you're not already 3D Vision ready, we're offering a $25 discount at:

Dip into Tegra and Android at Gamesauce 2010

Posted: 07 Jul 2010 01:34 PM PDT

As of June 23, more than 160,000 Android handsets are being sold daily. As of July 5, there are over 85,000 applications available for download in the Android Marketplace. And opportunities are exploding for content developers targeting Android mobile devices.

It's great to see Tegra emerging as the hardware of choice for so many of these developers. At the chip's heart is the superior performance of NVIDIA graphics, which helps provide consumers with kind of a mobile device experience once reserved for PC and high-end console gaming.

If this kind of performance gets your heart racing, you won't want to miss the Mobile Game Development track that we're hosting on July 19th at the Gamesauce Conference.

Great speakers – including execs from NVIDIA, Adobe, Epic, Ideaworks, Reverb, Stonetrip and Unity -- are lined up to talk about harnessing the horsepower of Tegra and Android to deliver the best consumer experience. It's perfect if you're interested in mobile development, already developing for Android or just want to learn more about great content coming for Tegra-based Android devices.

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