HIPerSpace Offers Highest Display Resolution

HIPerSpace is a new visualization system created by engineers at the University of California, San Diego. It has the highest display resolution of any computer display in the world - 220 million pixels.

(HIPerSpace 220 million pixel display world's highest resolution)

The new HIPerSpace system between Irvine and San Diego is joined together via high-performance, dedicated optical networking that clocks in at up to two gigabits per second (2Gbps). The systems use the same type of graphics rendering technology, from industry partner NVIDIA. The “graphics super cluster” being developed at UCSD consists of 80 NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 graphics processing units (GPUs).

"The graphics and computational performance of these cards is quite astounding," said Kuester. "Putting the theoretical computational performance of the cluster at almost 40 teraflops. To put that into context, the top-rated supercomputer in the world five years ago was operating at that same speed. While these are purely theoretical numbers, the comparison clearly hints at capabilities of this new cluster that go far beyond generating impressive visual information."

What can you do with this system (besides playing the most mind-blowingly high resolution version of your favorite computer game?) (An HDTV system has 1920x1080 or about 2 million pixels; this display has 100 time more.)The system will be used by scientists who need to visualize very large data sets, well into the terabyte range. The display will be used by scientists working in the earth sciences (like climate prediction), biomedical engineering, genomics and brain imaging.

Science fiction fans are all familiar with the parlor walls from Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451. The only way for Bradbury's prediction that people will completely reject natural life for "virtual" life in a TV parlor depends on high fidelity sound and excellent resolution:

It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the 'parlour families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not...

The public itself stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but it's a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be rebels any more. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily. Can you dance faster than the White Clown, shout louder than 'Mr. Gimmick' and the parlour 'families'? If you can, you'll win your way, Montag.

Bradbury was not the first to imagine enormous displays capable of showing live performance (as opposed to movie screens). See the picture of the giant flat panel display from H.G. Well's 1936 movie Things to Come.

Would you like your own superhigh resolution wall-sized display, but don't have any USCD engineers with access? Try the Mersive device that uses ordinary projectors to create World's Highest Resolution Seamless Display Has 60M Pixels.

Read more about the HIPerSpace display at Rocketing into HIPerSpace: New Visualization System at UC San Diego. Update: Thanks to reader Brandon for distinguishing between "high resolution" and "display resolution" in comments.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/23/2007)

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