Fraunhofer XTreemView - raytracing returns to the CPU

New 3D seismic viewer renders multi-terabyte seismic data sets fast sans GPU acceleration.

German R&D organization Fraunhofer has released XtreemView, a 3D seismic viewer which eschews GPU-based acceleration and relies purely on the CPU. The Linux-based software targets post-stack data and is claimed to scale seamlessly as compute nodes are added.

Fraunhofer’s Tobias Goetz told Oil IT Journal, ‘Ray tracing started on the CPU and only moved to the GPU because no one could do it fast enough on CPUs. Now we can do fast ray tracing on the CPU so we no longer need the GPU. This is a big advantage for folks with compute clusters without GPUs, a common situation due to the high cost of retrofitting a cluster with GPUs. Also we render data in local memory and don’t have to move it to and from GPU memory.’

Under the hood is Fraunhofer’s GPI 2.0 technology that distributes data across multiple compute nodes. The 3D engine renders across distributed data at frame-rates that allow interaction at full 32-bit amplitude in high resolution. The system was on show at the EAGE in Madrid earlier this year showing volume rendering on multi-terabyte data sets, co-rendering seismic data with attributes such as velocity.

Fraunhofer’s Franz-Josef Pfreundt added, ‘Our CPU-based approach helps users overcome the limitations and bottlenecks of traditional visualization tools. The visualization kernel, the fruit of ten years of R&D, is used in our spin-out product, Pre-Stack Pro.’ The viewer supports SEGY, Seismic Un*x and JavaSeis formats along with the GoCad/Tsurf format for horizons and triangulated surfaces. Data loading is parallelized to speed the time-to-image. The viewer is available as freeware (limited to 2 compute nodes and 40GB of data) or as a full featured corporate edition.

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