AMD Reveals Cloud Supercomputer, Plans to Stream 'Next-Gen' Video Games via Server-side Rendering

During a presentation at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, computer hardware manufacturer AMD and middleware developer OTOY unveiled plans for a new supercomputer they believe will revolutionize entertainment.

By calculating all relevant data sever-side and then streaming the results to online devices, AMD claims the platform can bring video games and other "graphically-intensive applications" to "virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content."

"Imagine playing the most visually intensive first person shooter game at the highest image quality settings on your cell phone without ever having to download and install the software, or use up valuable storage space or battery life with compute-intensive tasks," teased AMD digital media and entertainment director Charlie Boswell.

In the announcement, video game publisher Electronic Arts expressed its optimism, saying that it looks "forward to the new customers we can reach and the new interactive expressions that emerge from revolutionary technology like the AMD Fusion Render Cloud," and was joined on-stage by Lucasfilm, Dell and HP.

A demonstration of the technology saw the EA-published, Pandemic-developed Mercenaries 2: World In Flames streamed to a HP Pavilion dv2 notebook.

Boswell detailed another possible use, suggesting that users could watch a movie on their cell phone, then "seamlessly" continue the movie on their HDTV in full resolution when they get home. The supercomputer is also said to provide "remote real-time rendering of film and visual effects graphics."

Dubbed the "AMD Fusion Render Cloud," the supercomputer will be powered by AMD Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors. OTOY noted plans for the system to be ready by the second half of 2009, but it was unclear if OTOY was referencing its software or the supercomputer itself.

"Gaming companies can use the AMD Fusion Render Cloud for developing and deploying next-generation game content, to serve up virtual world games with unlimited photo-realistic detail, and take advantage of new delivery channels as open and diverse as the web itself," boasted AMD.