MASSIVELY PARALLEL INTERACTIVE RENDERING ENVIRONMENT
Volume rendering of medical data produces accurate, highly detailed images
of internal anatomy not available by other means. Such imagery is useful
for both diagnosis and education, and animation of these images is often
critical to the analysis (determining the size and orientation of key
anatomical features relative to one another for example).
However, high resolution volume data, such as that from the
Human Project at the National Library of Medicine, exceeds the CPU and
RAM limitations of current workstation technology. Such systems are unable
to generate images at the rates necessary to sustain an effective exploration
of the subject under study.
Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer
Center have developed a distributed direct volume rendering system
which utilizes advances in HPC architecture, web programming, and information
delivery. Called the Massively Parallel
Interactive Rendering Environment (MPIRE), this system can render
multi-gigabyte volume datasets at near-interactive rates and deliver the
results to any desktop computer equipped with a web browser.