Computers win on Oscar night.

Computers win on Oscar night.

Did you watch the Oscars? A year ago, the 3D blockbuster, Avatar, was denied the Oscar for best film, which went to a low-budget war movie called The Hurt Locker. However, Avatar did win 3 Oscars in technical categories: Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects.

The spectacular digital scenes in Avatar were developed by a company called Weta Digital, which is based in New Zealand. Weta Digital has won four other Oscars for Visual Effects: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), and King Kong (2005).

Being partial to computer power here at Cognigen, we were amazed to learn that the computer grid that was used to render the digital scenes in Avatar had all this:

  • 34 server racks, each holding a total of 32 servers running Linux
  • 40,000 processors total
  • 104 terabytes of memory

AND, at the heart of all that computer power: a Sun Grid Engine – the same software Cognigen uses on our very own NONMEM grid.

If that knocked your socks off, just wait until you see our next cool topic. And if you want to peruse all of the previous sock-knocking blog entries, visit the Knocked My Socks Off archive.(links to another blog site)