Fusion-io is putting a rocket up workstations in Hollywood with an ioFX flash card that features some of the technology used to create the visual effects in orphan-meets-robot family flick Hugo.
The ioFX is a PCIe-connected card with 420GB of non-volatile memory on it, providing a tier of storage between the workstation's DRAM and hard drives. It can stream data at up to 1.5GB/sec and enables the viewing of effects in movie scenes by video artists in real-time.
Ben Grossmann, the visual effects supervisor at Pixomondo - the special effects biz that worked on Oscar-bagging Hugo - said of the ioFX technology: "It helped Pixomondo not only meet tight deadlines, but also explore new ideas and approaches that otherwise might never have been possible because of the time it would take to make changes and new effects."
According to Fusion-io, video professionals can "view changes in real-time, even when working with high-resolution stereoscopic content". The ioFX card should "accelerate video playback and rendering, video and image editing and compositing, encoding and transcoding", and any other data-intensive activities required in contemporary digital production. It's claimed to allow artists to interactively collaborate on high-res, 3D 2K and 4K content that would previously have needed a large storage array.
There is an ioSphere management system included with the ioFX. It can be used to manage all the Fusion ioMemory products deployed in an infrastructure, including ioFX cards in workstations and ioDrives in servers. This software provides historical performance monitoring and reporting, real-time performance metrics and alerts.
The ioFX has a list price of $2,495, which includes a year's support, and it will be available from Fusion-io and selected resellers in late spring. You can see the ioFX at NAB in Las Vegas between 16 and 20 April.
Cisco snuggles up to Fusion-io flash tech
Cisco could be preparing to fit Fusion-io ioDrive flash to its UCS servers, making them run applications faster in their target high performance app market.
Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski was told by industry contacts that Cisco could become a major Fusion-io customer, accounting for ten percent or more of its sales, like Facebook. He calculates that if Fusion's ioDrives were used in just 2.9 per cent of shipped UCS servers then the 10 per cent mark would be reached within a year. ®