Visualizing Complex Industrial Design from a Continent Away

by Victoria Rege

There were a lot of amazing sights at the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver last week.

But to the veteran engineers who stopped by our booth, perhaps the most amazing was this: fully interactive demos of Dassault Systèmes’ industrial-strength industrial design software powered by graphics cards more than 2,000 miles away. Users could touch, tweak and interact with live engineering models without a hint of lag.

Dassault Systèmes’ demo was a  proof of concept of what they call 3DEXPERIENCE. The graphics power needed to run this demo is provided by our NVIDIA GRID technology from a Dassault data center hosted in Boston.

The result: users can launch the 3DEXPERIENCE dashboard from a thin-and-light laptop and, suddenly, they’re just a click away from running a host of graphically intensive apps, including CATIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA and SOLIDWORKS as if they were on a high-powered workstation sitting at their side.

This is serious stuff. The highlight: Dassault’s CATIA V6 software running a computer model showing exactly how a real-life car crumples (see video below). This is no videogame: CATIA is the computer-aided design software used to design cars for Porsche, airplanes for Boeing and turbines for General Electric.

The secret? The NVIDIA GPUs powering our NVIDIA GRID technology provide more than just raw computing power. Our Kepler architecture GPUs have built-in hardware encode support for a video streaming standard known as H.264.

This lets GRID servers hosted thousands of miles away provide a low-latency, high-framerate experience that rivals that of a living-room gaming console. In short, it lets us beam the considerable power of our professional-grade GPUs anywhere in the planet.

That gives users more than just the flexibility to fire up a laptop and tweak sophisticated engineering models from the field. It also helps companies keep their intellectual property on centralized servers that are easy to secure and easy to update.

What’s also becoming easy: believing that an experience like this can be powered by servers a continent away.