Software Defined Visualization: CPU Graphics Render New Realities

The animated brilliance of Moana. The photorealism of the Jaegers in the Pacific Rim movies. Scientific visualization for Stephen Hawking from his 10 Terabyte dataset. Design and test an automobile without having to build a prototype. These are just a few examples where Software Defined Visualization (SDVis)—Intel multi-core CPUs processing and delivering the same experience that you would get with a GPU—created stunning visual outcomes, and with many advantages over traditional hardware-bound processes.

This brief view into the SDVis world and its promise ranges from key differentiators between CPU and GPU image rendering, to the impacts on HPC exascale computing. Jim Jeffers, Intel Visualization Solutions Team Leader, discusses these topics and more with Intel’s Henry Gabb, touching on:

• The three libraries—Embree, OSPRay , OpenSWR —that comprise Intel’s SDVis solution
• The evolving role ray tracing plays in photorealism
• In-situ visualization—doing computation while simultaneously visualizing it—and its impacts

Learn more about the SDVis solution at

Jim Jeffers, Visualization Solutions Team Leader, Intel Corporation

Jim leads Intel’s Visualization Solutions Team developing open source CPU based rendering libraries—known as Software Defined Visualization—used for generating animated movies, special effects, automobile design and scientific visualization. He has worked with companies such as Disney* and DreamWorks*, and with scientists, such as Stephen Hawking. Jim joined Intel in 2008 participating in the development of manycore parallel computing and the Intel® Xeon Phi™ product family, including co-authoring four books on manycore parallel programming. His experience includes software design and technical leadership in high performance computing, graphics, digital television, and data communications. Jim’s notable work prior to Intel includes development for the Tech Emmy winning virtual ‘First Down Line’ technology seen on live American football TV broadcasts. He earned a BS in Marketing/Management/Computer Science from La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA.

Henry Gaab, Sr. Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation

Henry is a senior principal engineer in the Intel Software and Services Group, Developer Products Division, and is the editor of The Parallel Universe, Intel’s quarterly magazine for software innovation. He first joined Intel in 2000 to help drive parallel computing inside and outside the company. He transferred to Intel Labs in 2010 to become the program manager for various research programs in academia, including the Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining Intel, Henry was Director of Scientific Computing at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center MSRC, a Department of Defense high-performance computing facility. Henry holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Louisiana State University, an M.S. in medical informatics from the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. He has published extensively in computational life science and high-performance computing. Henry recently rejoined Intel after spending four years working on a second PhD in information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he established an expertise in applied informatics and machine learning for problems in healthcare and chemical exposure.

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