Radeon & FirePro
This is where AMD comes in with the GPU horsepower, where the lines are being blurred between consumer and professional graphics. Until now, Radeon and FirePro have been completely separate entities, but AMD wants to make it much less difficult to discern between the two.
AMD has been heavily focused on being as open as it can with everything it does, with initiatives like GPUOpen and AMD's love for all things open source. NVIDIA, on the other hand, ties developers and the architectural and rendering industries into their own middleware APIs, which while they have been great - the time of that is coming to an end.
Autodesk has been pulling out plenty of its NVIDIA-focused middleware out of its software, like CUDA for example, and pushing into open source based middleware. This makes the rendering and professional industries more like the game engine industry, which begins to make Autodesk's push with Stingray make much more sense.
Watters said AMD is "announcing product brands and product models that are more focused on open standards, blurring the line of professional and gaming, still being smart about workstation OEMs for design wins and certifications."
Emotional Attachment, and the Big Push of Porsche & GM
Emotional attachment? Porsche? Where are you going with this, Anthony? I hear you - but Watters made a very good case about architects wanting to tell an emotional story to sell their image of a building or house. Watters added that if "you can suspend disbelief, suddenly they can experience car or building as if it's real. They can make an emotional attachment. Automotive guys latch on with car configurations".
I agree, and it's something we talked about for a while. If you're sitting with an architect or home builder and you're working on the design of your house, the little details are important to make you feel like you're there. If you're looking at a sketch, you can't visualize it - you can't feel like it's yours. It's just a drawing that will eventually turn into something you might have imagined, and in some cases, it won't.
There can be hundreds of thousands or hundreds of millions of dollars on the line with architects and their customer's visions - and if they can provide a real-time look with visualizations within a game engine rendered in real-time while the customer is there - that is a big, big deal.
Watters talked about Porsche's recent financial comeback, eluding towards the carmaker allowing customers to personalize their vehicles right down to the color of the stitching on the chair. He added: "If we put a kiosk and have visuals of what it can look like, at the end of the process the customer is much likelier to pull the trigger." Once again, I agree. I replied saying that the personalization era has been here for a while with gamers - who will spend hours customizing their in-game character or buying hats in Team Fortress 2 or skins for their guns in CS: GO.
General Motors pays 3DExcite a rather large $35 million per year for them to sit in their offices, creating 3D renders for their cars. It's expensive, time-consuming, power hungry, and now it's going to be a waste of time because real-time rendering is here to do it all within a game engine.
Watters said that a single GM engineer within their design studio was tasked with investigating other opportunities in the rendering market, with the GM engineer looking into game engines. When he reported back, he was instantly promoted to a Director position, because GM could see the massive value in shifting to game engines, and the mountains of money it would save going into the future.
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