Single-chip Cloud Computer – Programming for the 3D Internet: JavaScript Farm on a Chip

December 3rd, 2009 |
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In this demo with Adam Welc, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Intel:

As Justin Rattner emphasized in his Supercomputing 2009 keynote in November, the Internet is poised to transition from flat, 2D experiences to more immersive 3D experiences. Bringing real world physics to 3D graphics is essential to making these emerging online interactions true-to-life. For instance, realistic, physics-based cloth modeling could enable both virtual clothing design as well as virtual dressing rooms that allow you to “try out” clothes on your virtual body and see how they would actually fall on you and match your specific skin tone. Intel Labs have demonstrated JavaScript, the language used broadly to create interactive web pages, taken to new levels of capability. Although JavaScript is used in every browser, it’s mainly used to operate very simple tasks like processing web forms and has performance problems running more complicated activities. JavaScript has been underutilized until now due to the lack of programming environment. Intel Labs have worked on a programming model that allows better utilization, takes better advantage of newer and future high-core count processors, and can be immediately deployed without requiring any modifications to the underlying infrastructure.

  • By treating the prototype chip as a “server farm” the chip is able to divide the work involved in calculating the motion of interactive cloth.
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  • Researchers use the “Actor” model, commonly used in server farms, which treats each core as an independent worker to own and process one piece of the cloth.
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  • Leveraging the standard HTTP web protocol, the browser distributes pieces of the cloth across the actor server farm, allows them to calculate the location of their piece of the cloth at the next time step, collects the results, and displays the combined image.

This podcast is from the live webcast at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco on December 2, 2009. This demo followed Intel CTO, Justin Rattner’s opening remarks on the Single-Chip Cloud Computer, the latest Intel Labs milestone in the Intel Tera-scale Computing Research Program.

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