World’s Highest Resolution Tiled Display for Open Science Deployed by Texas Advanced Computing Center

Nov. 18, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — The world's highest resolution tiled display has been deployed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin.

"TACC just dedicated our newly transformed Visualization Laboratory in October, and now we've expanded 'Stallion' to almost double the effective resolution of the system to 307 million pixels," said Kelly Gaither, associate director of data analysis and visualization at TACC. "This expansion makes Stallion the highest resolution tiled display in the world."

The system features 75 high-resolution Dell 30" displays, arranged in 15 columns of five displays each. Each display has a resolution of 2560x1600 for a combined total of 307 million pixels. With more than 36 gigabytes of graphics memory, 108 gigabytes of system memory, and 100 processing cores, Stallion enables datasets to be processed on a massive scale.

The next largest tiled display is a 14x5 display (70 monitors) at the University of California San Diego with nearly 287 million pixels.

John Mullen, vice president and general manager for Dell's Education, State and Local Government Division, said, "We're pleased to work with TACC and The University of Texas at Austin on this exciting stage of Stallion's growth. The enhanced display capabilities provide researchers even greater accuracy to view larger virtual displays for future discoveries."

"This expansion makes the display that much more flexible for our users," said Greg P. Johnson, a visualization specialist at TACC. "For a lot of applications such as life sciences, earth sciences or even fluid simulations, the extreme panoramic size is very good. Researchers want to visualize their terascale data sets from a distance, and they want to walk up close and explore the finest features while having a global view of their entire data set simultaneously. It expands what's possible."

For example, researchers can display a single, very large data set across all the monitors, or they can display multiple views of a very detailed data set at one time. They also have the ability to show a large number of time variance sequences, and do interactive 3-D modeling.

"With Lonestar and Ranger being among the most powerful supercomputers in the world," Gaither said, "it was important to provide parallel rendering and display capabilities at a large scale, to ensure our researchers are able to effectively explore their problems and challenges in computational science. The interesting science happens both in the fine features in the larger scale, and in how those micro features relate to each other. You want to have both."

Stallion is a local resource from which researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and throughout Texas can benefit. In the near future, TACC plans to configure Stallion to offer nodes to remote users when the local screens are not being used.

The ACES Visualization Laboratory and its resources, including Stallion, will be in full production starting Dec. 1. For more information on how to get an account on Stallion, please visit the TACC User Portal.

For more information, contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos, Texas Advanced Computing Center, 512 232 5771.