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AMD's New RV770 Graphics Chip Will Let You Play Inside Movies

by Rainier on June 17, 2008 @ 3:04 a.m. PDT

At a press conference AMD demonstrated the ultra-realistic and interactive visual computing & processing power of its forthcoming RV770 graphics chip claiming "With Cinema 2.0 you won’t just play movies, you’ll play in them. Imagine the ability to look around the environments in a sci-fi movie, put yourself in the driver’s seat in a race scene, duck behind things and pop up to see what’s going on in an intense firefight – all of these things are possible with Cinema 2.0"

Until today, content developers had to choose between cinematic realism rendered offline and absent the rewarding sensory experience of interactivity, or an interactive experience without full ultra-realism.

The demonstration of what AMD terms the “Cinema 2.0 experience” punches a sizeable hole in the sensory barrier that separates today’s visionary content creators and the interactive experiences they desire to create for audiences around the world. The Cinema 2.0 demo showed the fusion of dynamic real-time interactivity with convincing cinematic digital effects that appear to be real places and things captured on video.

This AMD advancement in processing technology can now begin combining with the artistic passion of top movie directors, visual effects companies and game developers worldwide to open the door for unprecedentedly engaging entertainment experiences.

“With Cinema 2.0 you won’t just play movies, you’ll play in them. Imagine the ability to look around the environments in a sci-fi movie, put yourself in the driver’s seat in a race scene, duck behind things and pop up to see what’s going on in an intense firefight – all of these things are possible with Cinema 2.0,” said Charlie Boswell, director, Digital Media & Entertainment, AMD. “The challenge for any director has always been taking a wonderful vision in the canvas of the mind and translating that to film for the audience to see. Cinema 2.0 breaks down the time and cost barriers of getting a scene or shot that’s ‘just right’, and what’s better, allows audiences to dive deeper into the experience to explore every part of that director’s vision.”

“Today’s demonstration of Cinema 2.0 represents a sip from the multi-billion dollar gaming industry’s Holy Grail, while presenting a new quest to digital filmmakers,” said Richard Huddy, worldwide developer relations manager, AMD Graphics Product Group. “Imagine going to the opening of a movie and upon getting home being able to play a game that looks and feels absolutely identical – right down to the character models and sets.”

“The Cinema 2.0 milestone is comparable to other major evolutions of film: sound, color, cinemascope, 70mm, THX, stereoscopic 3D, IMAX, and the like,” said Jules Urbach, founder and CEO, Jules World LLC, OTOY. “Cinema 2.0 means truly interactive cinema, where the experience of watching a film is bridged perfectly with real-time rendering for a potentially dynamic and engaging experience. The cornerstone of this is not limiting the artistic process, and AMD innovation now makes that possible. Today AMD and OTOY demonstrated the ability to complete cinematic compositions in the real-time interactive realm, and that is a giant leap toward rapidly creating a new art form and experience.”

The secret of Cinema 2.0 is the blending of highly complex and realistic graphics that traditionally are the exclusive domain of blockbuster films, with the dynamic 3D interactivity of popular video games. Before now, a typical computer-generated scene could take up to 30 hours to render each frame on CPUs. To achieve the smooth interactivity seen in today’s games, a minimum of 25 to 30 frames per second of rendering speed is needed. Based on these numbers, conventional wisdom among prominent game developers and expert computer graphics artists estimated a Cinema 2.0-like technological milestone to be up to ten years away.

AMD plans this summer to introduce the world’s highest performing graphics processor – a chip more powerful than every generation of video game console ever brought to market combined, with one full teraFLOPS of processing power per chip. This technology will soon be available as ATI Radeon™ HD branded graphics cards.

AMD technology represents one foundational part of the ecosystem needed for Cinema 2.0, with the upcoming AMD graphics processor serving as a grand canvas for leading content creators. To bring Cinema 2.0 to life as a mainstream phenomenon, AMD is collaborating with movie directors and game developers, as well as software developers who make tools needed to harness many teraFLOPS of real-time visual computing power.

For more information on Cinema 2.0 and the technology that makes it possible, and to hear what top game developers and gamers have to say, visit www.amd.com/cinema2.

The Cinema 2.0 demo system in San Francisco featured two “RV770” codenamed graphics cards rated at one teraFLOPS each, driven by an AMD Phenom™ X4 quad-core processor and AMD 790 FX Chipset.

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