This is designed to be a resource for known GSCube information protecting people providing confidential infromation. Ver.1.0 -------------- 16 GS Blade working prototype Year:2000 Location Siggraph. Spec (paper) - CPU 128Bit Emotion Engine x 16 - System Clock Frequency 294.912MHz - Main Memory Direct RDRAM - Memory Size 2GB (128MB x 16) - Memory Bus Bandwidth 50.3GB/s (3.1GB/s x 16) - Floating Point Performance 97.5GFLOPS (6.1GFLOPS x 16) - 3D CG Geometric Transformation 1.04Gpolygons/s (65Mpolygons/s x 16) - Graphics Graphics Synthesizer I-32 x 16 - Clock Frequency 147.456MHz - VRAM Size 512MB (embedded 32MB x 16) - VRAM Bandwidth 755GB/s (47.2GB/s x 16) - Pixel Fill Rate 37.7GB/s (2.36GB/s x 16) - Maximum Polygon Drawing Rate 1.2 Gpolygons/s (73.7Mpolygons/s x 16) - Display Color Depth 32bit (RGBA: 8 bits each) - Z depth 32bit - Maximum Resolutions 1080/60p (1920x1080, 60fps, Progressive) - Merging Functions Scissoring Alpha Test Z Sorting Alpha Blending - Sound: Emotion Engine native audio - Maximum Output Channel 16 - Sampling Frequency 48KHz - Output Data Length 16bit - Output Data Format AES/EBU Digital Audio Format Other Specifications Host Interface: Peak transfer rate 2.4 GB/s (approx.) Parallel bus 1024 bit for data/32 bit for control Physical Dimensions: 424mm x 424mm x 424mm(WxDxH) fit in for 19-inch rack Weight 106lbs (approx.) Power Requirement 100-240V 50/60Hz As shown at SIGGRAPH in 2000, it required control via an external server (SGI ORIGIN 3400) ----------------------- Planned and actual versions: 32 GS Blade A later spec was prototyped to 64 GS blades.(is known) A press release was issued. 64 GS Blade 100 GS Blade 1000 GS Blade "The 64-board GScube will put Sony ahead of the graphics system road map it announced a year ago, when it promised to develop a system with 10 times the processing clout of Playstation 2 in 2000, followed by a 100-times version in 2002 and a 1,000x version before the end of the decade." ----------------------- Limitations realized at SIGGRAPH 2000: "With the feedback from the demonstration at Siggraph, we realized that the present [16-processor] prototype did not have enough performance for 3-D graphics creation and realistic rendering in real-time," said Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. "We are planning to introduce a system with about 64 parallel-processing units next year." Sony and one of its collaborators, a film production company called Square, jointly demonstrated the GScube in Tokyo on Tuesday (Sept. 12) by synthesizing a footage in real-time from the computer-graphics movie version of Final Fantasy. Square is now producing this film, based on a popular computer game, for release next summer in the United States. (Not done on GScube) "At present it takes five hours to render one frame," said Kazuyuki Hashimoto, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Square USA. "If GScube can process the graphics data in real-time, that means it will take only 1/30 second per frame." The demo with the current prototype, however, reduced rendering for textures such as hair to suit the abilities of the system. Where in the movie a character's hair was rendered as 40,000 lines, for example, the demo displayed only 4,000. (This would explain the 1000 GSblade version needed to create ANTZ or The FF movie in realtime.) "Yoshiko Hara Yoshiko Hara EE Times (09/13/2000 2:55 PM EDT) TOKYO — Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has accelerated its plans to roll out a high-end graphics computer based on its Playstation game console technology. The company announced plans this week to introduce a system called GScube next year that will use 64 processor boards with Playstation 2 technology. The resulting parallel-processing computer will act as a graphics visualization machine with a 3-D processing capability of 4.16 gigapolygons per second and a resolution of 60 frames/second (progressive scan) at 1,080 x 1,980 pixels, the company said. The 64-board GScube will put Sony ahead of the graphics system road map it announced a year ago, when it promised to develop a system with 10 times the processing clout of Playstation 2 in 2000, followed by a 100-times version in 2002 and a 1,000x version before the end of the decade. Sony demonstrated a 16-processor prototype at the Siggraph 2000 show in New Orleans last July, built in collaboration with more than 20 companies. "With the feedback from the demonstration at Siggraph, we realized that the present [16-processor] prototype did not have enough performance for 3-D graphics creation and realistic rendering in real-time," said Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. "We are planning to introduce a system with about 64 parallel-processing units next year." Sony and one of its collaborators, a film production company called Square, jointly demonstrated the GScube in Tokyo on Tuesday (Sept. 12) by synthesizing a footage in real-time from the computer-graphics movie version of Final Fantasy. Square is now producing this film, based on a popular computer game, for release next summer in the United States. "At present it takes five hours to render one frame," said Kazuyuki Hashimoto, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Square USA. "If GScube can process the graphics data in real-time, that means it will take only 1/30 second per frame." The demo with the current prototype, however, reduced rendering for textures such as hair to suit the abilities of the system. Where in the movie a character's hair was rendered as 40,000 lines, for example, the demo displayed only 4,000. "The current prototype needs data tuning," said Hashimoto. "But as the performance of the 64-processor parallel GScube will be four times [that of today's system], it can do more." He said Square was actively investigating the possibility of using GScube in its production work. " ---------------------- The SIGGRAPH DEMO. The demo for siggraph 2000 was crafted by criterion software for sony rendering a scene from "ANTZ" in realtime. The renderware version for GScube was hammered out by some of the best people in the industry including Rabin Ezra 1967-2005. He helped provide renderware for Sony ‘s GSCube demo on a very tight schedule with access to final hardware restricted to on-site in the final week. Demo was a real time version of the bar room scene from PDI’s film ‘Antz’, (Work to hard deadlines – SIGGRAPH. Complexity mitigation – made Renderware automatically exploit parallelism) Rabin was a hardware guru capable of grasping the technology. Partnerships for SIGGRAPH 2000: Software from AVID/SOFTIMAGE and MANEX VISUAL IMAGERY (Matrix) was provided, but no information can be found on either site, let alone the SCEI site. "SIGGRAPH 2000 MONTREAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 25, 2000 Demonstration Heralds the Convergence of Linear and Interactive Media Softimage Co, a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), today announced that it has joined forces with Manex Visual Effects (MVFX) and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI SCEI - Sony Computer Entertainment, Incorporated) to demonstrate a joint strategic vision for the convergence of 3-D linear and interactive media at SIGGRAPH 2000. SIGGRAPH 2000 attendees will have the opportunity to witness how a movie director or visual effects supervisor will use the latest software and hardware technology to visualize linear content interactively, thus improving the creative workflow and reducing the cost of on-set production. Specifically, the audience will experience an interactive display of a hypothetical shot based on content from "The Matrix" (c) Warner Brothers as developed by Manex Visual Effects and Eon Entertainment visual effects Director John Gaeta Gaeta (gÃ¤ĕ`tÃ¤), town (1991 pop. 22,334), in Latium, central Italy, a seaport on a high promontory in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was a favorite resort of the ancient Romans and was a prosperous duchy from the 9th to the 12th cent. Gaeta lost its independence to the Normans (mid-12th cent., running on a new hardware prototype developed by SCEI, the GScube(TM), via the SOFTIMAGE(R)|XSI(tm) Viewer. The Content "Using the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer, we've designed a one minute interactive shot that demonstrates how a director or cinematographer can experiment, in real-time 3-D, with camera angles, tracking, pacing and set design, all before committing to a final layout," said Kim Libreri, Vice President, Technology at MVFX. "MVFX has always been at the forefront of visualization for feature film production, and the power of the GScube allows us to offer a real-time visualization solution at a level of realism never before possible." The demonstration was directed by Academy Award(R) winning visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, of Eon Entertainment, who added, "I've always believed that the boundary between interactive and passive content would blur or even disappear, giving way to a new genre of virtual cinema. The potential of the GScube to redefine simulation, visualization and overall future content is staggering." The Hardware The demonstration will be running on the GScube real-time content creation system and will initially provide 10 times the performance of the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, with future iterations of the technology potentially exceeding this 100 fold. At SIGGRAPH 2000, the prototype will display real-time 3-D graphics at a resolution of 1920 x 1080, with a progressive scan rate The number of times per second an image capture or display device samples its field of vision. See scan line and horizontal scan frequency. See also scan technology. of 60 frames-per-second, which is beyond the interlaced scan rate of the digital HDTV standard. "The new GScube development system that we are showing at SIGGRAPH 2000 is the first step toward a new type of entertainment that cannot be realized using current technologies," stated Makoto Hatakenaka, Vice President at SCEI. "We are glad to work with companies that share our vision of the future. There is more than meets the eye in the demonstration produced by Manex Visual Effects and Softimage." The Software The content developed at MVFX will be running interactively on SCEI's GScube development system via the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer. For the demonstration, 12 iterations of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer are distributed over the GScube graphic processors, each one handling a sub-set of the 3-D data and 3-D character animation, thus enabling the interactive display of the experience at 1920 x 1080, at 60 frames-per-second. "At Softimage, we are taking the lead in bridging the gap between linear and interactive media. Our strong user base in both markets allows us to identify clearly the synergy between the different creative workflows, and bring them together when it makes sense," said David Morin, Vice President of Special Projects and Content Group at Softimage. "Our currently available SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer has been developed from the outset with the future needs of the 3-D content creators in mind. Its architecture is both powerful and very flexible, allowing for fast development on new 3-D interactive platforms such as the GScube." A number of custom plug-ins have been developed for the purpose of the demonstration, such as a special "bullet time" interactive camera control and custom rendering libraries by AiCube Co. Ltd, a Softimage partner. The demonstration of technology will take place in the SCEI booth # 853, Hall F at SIGGRAPH 2000. In-depth demonstrations of SOFTIMAGE|XSI and SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer systems will be held in the Softimage booth # 837. Pricing and Availability The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer is an asset validation, previewing and visualization tool for linear 3-D content and 3-D interactive media. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer is a free introductory version of the XSI XSI - Express Ship Interface (SAP system) XSI - X/Open System Interface XSI - Xenos Summer Institute XSI - XML Schema Instance ViewerPlus, Softimage's premium 3-D scene viewer. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer can be downloaded for free from the Softimage Web site at www.softimage.com. This makes it an ideal tool for viewing simple animated interactive media of all sorts. The ViewerPlus is a licensed product that supports a rich set of .xsi file format data, including IK, envelopes, constraints, user data and custom plug-in data. The XSI ViewerPlus is currently designed for interactive media artists to validate their work as it is passed to the games development team, allowing the accurate previewing of exported runtime data. The .xsi file format, which is a rich extensible file format for 3-D animated media, is the core of the Softimage media art pipeline. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Viewer is available today for Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows 98 platforms, and will be available for the Sony Playstation2 and other games platforms later this year as part of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 1.5 release. About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Recognized as the undisputed global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation game console and PlayStation2 computer entertainment system. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these two platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of Sony Corporation. About Manex Visual Effects Manex Visual Effects (MVFX) pioneered the extraordinary effects artistry that won the company back-to-back Academy Awards in 1999 and 2000 for Polygram's "What Dreams May Come" and Warner Bros. "The Matrix." Manex Visual Effects additionally contributed visual effects to box office successes such as Warner Bros. "Romeo Must Die", NBA Entertainment/Giant Screen Sports "Jordan to the Max", DreamWorks' "American Beauty," Disney's "Mighty Joe Young" and "Armageddon", and the Paramount feature "Mission: Impossible-2." MVFX is a division of Manex Entertainment, Inc. About Manex Entertainment, Inc. Manex Entertainment, Inc. is a diversified media company with locations at Alameda Point, located in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California, and Culver City, located in the Los Angeles area of Southern California. With over 150 employees, the operating divisions of Manex Entertainment include Manex Interactive, Manex Studios, Manex Visual Effects and Manex Filmed Entertainment. The divisions of Manex Entertainment come together to create a new kind of production entity, embracing software, hardware, art and design, stage space, digital effects, Internet, communications and consultation/support services. About Avid Technology, Inc. Avid Technology, Inc., of which Softimage Co. is a subsidiary, is an international, industry-leading provider of digital audio and video tools for information and entertainment applications. Avid's products are used by a variety of customers worldwide including film, television and interactive content producers, TV news broadcasters, corporate communicators and consumers. For more information, visit the Softimage site at www.softimage.com or the Avid site at www.avid.com. (c)2000 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product specifications are subject to change without notice. All prices are USMSRP for U.S. and Canada only and are subject to change without notice. Contact your local Avid or Softimage office or reseller for prices outside the U.S. and Canada. Avid and Softimage are registered trademarks and XSI is a trademark of Avid Technology, Inc. Academy Award is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners." ---------------------- FINAL FANTASY MOVIE MYTH AND WIKIPEDIA INACCURACY The GS cube was not used to render the FF movie. However Square Hawaii did program software for the unit. As quoted from a resume. FF the Movie was rendered on a custom render farm using four SGI Origin 2000 series servers, four Onyx2 systems, and 167 Octane workstations.The basic movie was rendered at a home-made render farm which consisted of 960 Pentium III-933MHz workstations. Resident Evil 3D renders were done by Framestore CFC using dual core NT servers. "Square USA (Honolulu) Aug/97-Mar/02 * Software Research & Development lead for the production of the movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". * Acted as liaison between R&D and Movie teams, determining software requirements, features, and user interfaces. * Developed Maya plugins for simulating hair, deformation tools, and geometric modeling tools. * Supervised a group of ten software engineers for a period of four years. Major developments included cloth animation and asset management systems for Final Fantasy movie project. * Supervised the design and participated in the development of the “Dancer” hardware-assisted rendering technologies, running on PS2, OpenGL, and DX8. * Supervised and participated in creation of Dancer demos running at Siggraph 2000 on Sony GSCube" ---------------------- CANCELLATION: Never officially announced. However tidbits exist from indirect sources. A tidbit from a Sony Employee's resume. XXXX is a senior software engineer at Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. US R&D. While he was attending the University of Oregon in 2001, SCE hired him to work on the GScube project, but the project ended before John's first day. *This would make the lifespan of gscube 1997-2001 or appx. four years. ---------------------- Disputed evolution into PS3 The SGI Origin hardware + EE cores have been argued as the founding idea behind cell. The software and parallel processing developed for GScube has been argued as being the start of PS3. (Scalability in Visualization) It is possible to link several PS3 units very similar to the scalability of the Gscube. So look no further, you already own a GScube. ----------------------- Hardware locations: Japan - Condition unknown. Probably partly archived and scrapped to protect technology. Hawaii - Rumored to have been flown back to Japan (concept) and/or thrown into a compactor and destroyed (other units).