New supercomputer to accelerate Taiwan's animation computingA new supercomputer developed by the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC) will be launched in the near future to help reduce the computation time required in the production of animation and special effects.
Formosa 4, Taiwan's largest self-built cloud-computing system, is undergoing its final test, said Alpha Wang, manager of the planning and promotion division at the NCHC.
The system, which encompasses a graphic processing unit (GPU) cluster and is located at the Tainan branch of the NCHC, is expected to come online in mid-June, she said.
"Usually it takes about one year to finish the computation of some complicated animations and special effects," she told CNA in a telephone interview recently.
"Formosa 4 will be able to shorten the time and help companies introduce their works earlier," she noted.
The Formosa series has established a "Render Farm" platform to provide cloud-based animation and special effect rendering services for local film and animation industry, the NCHC said.
The Render Farm, officially launched in November 2011, has subsequently integrated a dynamic simulation system and animation software to cultivate rendering techniques for special effects, according to the NCHC.
"Some companies are using the previous generation cluster computer, Formosa 3, to compute their animations," Wang said, without divulging the names of the companies due to confidentiality agreements.
In November last year, Formosa 4 was ranked 234th on the 38th TOP500 supercomputer list released in the SC11 Conference in Seattle based on internal testing that had been conducted up to that point, an indication of Taiwan's strength in cluster and parallel high-performance computing research.