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ZEGO Platform Combines Cell Technology and RSX GPU for New Production Solutions

LOS ANGELES (SIGGRAPH Booth # 521) Aug. 12, 2008 – Sony Electronics is unveiling a new workflow solution for faster processing of high-resolution effects and computer graphics. This new technology platform, named ZEGO™, is based on the Cell/B.E. (Cell Broadband Engine™) and RSX® technologies, and is designed to eliminate bottlenecks that can occur during post production, especially during the creation and rendering of visual effects.
The BCU-100 computing unit is the first product to utilize this new ZEGO hybrid multi-core cell platform.

The ZEGO platform, and the BCU-100 unit, will be shown at SIGGRAPH in conjunction with Sony’s 4K SXRDâ„¢ projector, to demonstrate Sony’s vision for providing enhanced end-to-end workflows – from acquisition through display.

“Sony’s ZEGO platform represents the melding of both Cell and GPU technologies to provide efficient and accelerated workflows for HD content and beyond,â€? said Satoshi Kanemura, vice president of B2B of America at Sony Electronics. “This technology not only has the power to achieve new efficiencies in visual effects pipelines, it also represents our commitment to designing solutions with customers’ needs in mind.â€?

Production professionals are working with increasingly higher-resolution video content, from HD to 4K and beyond. As a result, the time required for post production work has also increased significantly, driving the need for faster workflows.

The Cell type architecture, known as on-chip parallelism, packages a collection of processors and co-processors in a combination that is specifically designed to optimize specific types of applications.

It incorporates a low-power consumption design with the added benefit of reduced operational costs when many units are run in a clustered configuration.

Sony has been working with software companies that specialize in video production, including mental images of Berlin and Side Effects Software of Ontario, CA to create applications which take advantage of the ZEGO platform.

“Computer graphics remain one of the world’s most computationally demanding activities and there seems to be no limit to our industry’s desire for innovative hardware and software solutions,� said Dr. Paul Salvini, chief technology officer and vice president of Canadian operations at Side Effects Software. “The BCU-100’s hybrid Cell/B.E. and RSX architecture has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to develop new algorithms and techniques for parallel, multi-core, and stream computing.�

“Our collaboration with Sony has yielded important insights into the development of next-generation options for high-end rendering technology focused on high-bandwidth data transfer,� said Ludwig von Reiche, chief operating officer of mental images. “The porting of mental ray software and MetaSL technology to the Cell platform using Sony toolkits has demonstrated the promising potential for accelerating rendering by utilizing on-chip parallelism.�
The BCU-100 computing unit is expected to ship later this year, with pricing to be determined.

– The Cell/B.E. is a high-performance microprocessor jointly developed by Sony, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Toshiba Corporation, and IBM Corporation.
– “Cell Broadband Engineâ€? is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
– RSX® is a graphics processor jointly developed by NVIDIA Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
– 4K: image resolution of 4096×2160 pixels (H x V) – more than four times the resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080).
– All other company and product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.