Wednesday May 13, 2009

SPEC awards, graphics

More 2009 SPECtacular awards. Sometimes even success doesn't succeed, at first. SPEC developed a workstation energy consumption benchmark, and a lot of people worked extra hard to deliver it in time for EPA to consider using it in the Energy Star program which is being extended beyond PC's to also include workstations, servers, thin clients, and storage. Although EPA decided not to use our test for the workstation program at this time, the work is still important and I am confident it will be used in some way. A graphics processor can easily use more energy than a CPU, especially a high performance accelerated 3D processor. For their exceptional work in producing this benchmark I thank David Reiner of AMD, Joerg Grosshennig of Fujitsu Technology Solutions, Paul Besl of Intel, and an engineer from NVIDIA.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

SPEC award recipients, graphics

Now and then you get to do something that really makes your job worthwhile, even an unpaid job like SPEC President.  January 30th at SPEC's annual meeting in San Francisco, I gave awards for SPECtacular contributions in 2007 to engineers and researchers from 26 companies and universities.  Now I'm writing thank-you notes to their managers, because frankly when you do a lot of your work in an industry consortium with your best efforts visible more to your competitors than to your managers, a little bit of extra recognition is surely in order.

Damien Farnham says "That which is measured, improves." And when the right things are measured in a fair and representative manner, then the improvements benefit the entire industry. Thanks to the work of these people and others in SPEC, all our customers are able to evaluate system performance with confidence, and performance delivered in new products improves in a way that translates to real world improvements.

To make the thanks public I'll write a bit about each of them here in my blog. I won't list everyone since some people don't want their names posted; but you know who you are.

I'll start today by thanking outstanding contributors to SPEC's graphics benchmarks.  Years after pundits declared that PC's had more performance than they would ever need, graphics continues to drive high end workstation sales, as graphics applications deliver real customer benefit for the dollar. SPEC's free downloadable benchmarks measure Open/GL performance across multiple platforms, and measure real world graphics application performance.

Last year we released SPECviewperf 10, the industry's standard measure of OpenGL performance across multiple platforms, with view sets from real world graphics applications, with the leadership and dedication of two engineers from NVIDIA. We released SPECapc for 3ds Max 9, the cross platform standard performance measure for 3D modeling using the Autodesk software, thanks to the work of an NVIDIA engineer. And we released SPECapc for Solidworks 2007, the premier measure of CAD/CAM performance, thanks to the leadership and hard work of Louis Barton from Dell, David Reiner from AMD, and an engineer from HP.

These people are making a positive difference in the industry, and so I say thank you!


About

I am a software engineer in San Diego, president of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (spec.org), formerly a mathematician and a violist.

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