Carson City, Nev.- Cubix Visual & GPU Compute Solutions, a new division of blade computing company Cubix Corporation, releases the first of its new GPU-Xpander products developed for various general purpose GPU (GPGPU) compute markets. Xpander for Octane Render is an external graphics host device featuring between 1-4 high performance, discrete Nvidia CUDA-enabled graphics cards or GPU cards. Xpander for Octane Render is a purpose-built GPU-Xpander Pro 2 connecting externally beside any PC or Apple Mac Pro with PCI Express 2.0 slots, and is tuned specifically for Refractive Software's Octane Render, a GPU-enabled, unbiased physically-based renderer.
What does this mean for 3D graphics niche markets such as rendering? According to Cubix Visual, it means the ability to add more computing cores to a user's current PC or Mac workstation than any other hardware solution available. In other words, used with Refractive Software's Octane Render, users gain the capability to render much larger photorealistic images at higher resolutions in a fraction of the time (and cost) it would take dozens of dual Quad Core Xeon workstations to produce the same pictures or animation frames. Add more Nvidia CUDA-enabled graphics cards, and performance scales up linearly.
Xpander for Octane Render becomes a PCI Express slot-multiplier, doubling the number of full-sized double-width PCI Express slots using the customer's current PC or Mac Pro workstation. Most Octane Render users' options for adding more high-performance Nvidia GPUs to their current hardware are limited by the number of available slots, physical space within their workstations, or inadequate power supply capacity. Cubix solves these problems by going external.
Xpander for Octane Render prices start at less than $1000 for a system including Nvidia GeForce GTX 260, base unit auto-ranging power supply, PCIe data cable, and PCIe adapter. With Octane Render proof of purchase, you can receive a deskside Xpander unit fully loaded with two GeForce GTX 480 cards for under $2000.
Cubix Visual is manufacturing another version of the product, GPU-Xpander with ExpressCard, targeted at mobile computing applications including Octane Render, game development, mobile cinema and broadcast production, post-production, Non-Linear Editing (NLE), pro audio capture, and other I/O-based applications which can benefit from ExpressCard 34/54 single-channel PCIe connections.
For larger customers, Cubix Visual will be shipping a modular 19" rackmount version called GPU-Xpander Rackmount which supports between 1-4 workstations, and up to 8 Nvidia GeForce GTX, Tesla, or Quadro FX Series cards per chassis. A 19" rackmount blade workstation product will follow in June called XpanderBlade.
One of the more immediate options available will be a 16-channel PCIe 2.0 solution for supporting applications which create a lot of PCIe bus traffic. This option will be available by the first half of June, but pricing was not available as of press time.
Cubix Visual & GPU Compute Solutions will be exhibiting at SIGGRAPH 2010 in Los Angeles July 27th-29th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, booth no. 1126.