Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Updates on New Solutions for Largest VR Problems; Enters New Collaborations
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AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) outlined powerful new solutions to two of the largest issues facing professional VR content creators today: how to create compelling VR content that approaches cinematic fidelity, and how to maximize that content's viewership. In the opening keynote at VR on the Lot, a two-day summit bringing together the top players in media, entertainment and technology, AMD detailed innovative Radeon™ Pro technologies designed to fuel the creation of real-time photorealistic VR content, and announced collaborations to facilitate the distribution of premium VR content to out-of-home experiences around the world.
"In creating Radeon Pro, we sought to address the industry's biggest problems, and for many creators, there's none bigger than cinematic VR content," said Roy Taylor, corporate VP and head of alliances, content and VR, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. "Bringing your creative vision to life can be a demanding and laborious process and working in VR, those demands are exponentially multiplied. Through extraordinary Radeon Pro hardware and software, we're helping alleviate the technical burdens of creativity, empowering artists to focus on telling their story, and through our efforts in location-based entertainment, giving them new opportunities to share their work with the world."
Unleashing creativity in VR through Radeon Pro technology
Unveiled at SIGGRAPH 2016, Radeon Pro technology represents a fundamentally different approach to content creation, informed by a deep focus on open source software, and solutions that are built for modern content creation processes. At VR on the Lot, AMD addressed the challenge of achieving photorealism in real-time: how to deliver compelling synthetically-rendered and filmed content in a smooth and enjoyable VR experience.
At the heart of the solution is the new Radeon Pro WX 7100 GPU, capable of handling demanding media and entertainment workflows and professional VR content creation needs at a planned MSRP under $1,000 USD.(1) The Radeon™ Pro WX 7100 uses the award-winning Polaris architecture to deliver extraordinary performance while boasting workstation-grade components and build quality, with planned availability later this year.
Powerful software tools complement the Radeon™ Pro WX 7100, including Radeon ProRender, an open-source physically-based rendering engine available on GPUOpen.com, designed to deliver extraordinary photorealistic rendered content. By harnessing powerful hardware in Radeon Pro graphics and Radeon ProRender software in their systems, content creators can render final-frame quality outputs that appear true-to-life.
For filmed content, AMD's Project Loom is designed to enable real-time 360-degree video stitching that combines the output of up to 24 cameras to enable 4K resolution at 30 frames per second in VR. Project Loom is targeted for availability later this year as open source on GPUOpen.com.
To help in handling incredibly large datasets such as 360-degree video footage in 4K, AMD introduced the Radeon™ Pro Solid State Graphics (SSG) card. Initially available as a developer kit, Radeon Pro SSG gives content creators a full terabyte of memory directly attached to the GPU to drive astounding performance gains. For instance, the Radeon Pro SSG handles 8K raw video with ease, enabling real-time video scrubbing at 90+ frames per second, up from 17 frames per second using conventional graphics memory.(2)
Expanding the premium VR ecosystem out of home
AMD also announced significant steps to expand the availability of premium VR experiences through new collaborations with Awesome Rocketship, Howie's Game Shack® and VRrOOm. The agreements will leverage AMD's world-class hardware and software to drive new and exciting VR installations in malls, cinemas, i-cafés and other retail locations, providing new revenue opportunities for venues, expanded distribution opportunities for content creators, and incredible new entertainment experiences to consumers.
AMD is working with Awesome Rocketship, a provider of complete out-of-home solutions for monetizing VR content across a variety of locations including theater lobbies, trade shows, shopping malls, and museums. At VR on the Lot, AMD and Awesome Rocketship are showcasing the company's sleek, premium-designed Venue VR Gateway pod, featuring stunning content in Phoenix One, a narrative science fiction adventure in VR.
Howie's Game Shack®, operator of one of the largest game centers in North America, has announced they will open three VR-oriented i-cafés in Southern California, the first of their kind in North America. These cafés will feature several dozen VR PCs paired with HTC Vive headsets, powered exclusively by Radeon™ graphics.
AMD also announced a collaboration today with VRrOOm to help advance cinematic storytelling through VR in cinemas across China. VRrOOm has developed an end-to-end model for VR entertainment including the VRrOOm Sanctum theater experience, a digital news and content distribution platform extension (www.VRrOOm.buzz) and VR content production. VRrOOm plans to use AMD hardware in VRrOOm Sanctum theatres in cinemas located in six Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, and two French cities including Paris starting this fall through VRrOOm's exclusive partnership with China Film Group's affiliated company CFEC and French cinema chain CineMovida. VRrOOm anticipates dozens of VRrOOm Sanctum installations across China and Europe by the end of 2017 and is currently discussing further deployment throughout the United States as well.
Demonstrating AMD's commitment to Hollywood, AMD recently opened an office on Sunset Boulevard to more easily support productions and partnerships around media and entertainment. VR on the Lot runs through tomorrow at Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.
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