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AMD Launches Partnership With CAD Developer PTC 75

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD is kicking off its weekend with news of a partnership between itself and CAD software developer PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation). PTC owns and develops the Creo software family. One of the programs at the heart of the company, Creo Element/Pro, was originally known as Pro/ENGINEER. It's not at all unusual for software developers in the CAD/CAM space to ally with hardware manufacturers, but it's typically Nvidia, not AMD, making such announcements. AMD claims that the upcoming Creo 2.0 product suite will be able to take advantage of the GPU in unprecedented ways that simultaneously improve performance and visual quality without compromising either. The company calls one such option Order Independent Transparency, or OIT. OIT is a rendering technology that allows for the partial display of wireframes and models inside a solid surface without creating artifacts or imprecise visualizations."
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AMD Launches Partnership With CAD Developer PTC

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  • Wow, talk about a blatant slashvertisement. As the summary states, it's not at all unusual for CAD/CAM software to ally with hardware so what exactly is the news for nerds here??

    With more contributors working on improving BRL-CAD's usability and features, we'd have an open source alternative without the huge recurring price tag. Lots of ways to get involved are listed here: http://brlcad.org/wiki/Contributor_Quickies [brlcad.org]

    You see what I did there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      PTC sells one of the most widely used 3D parametric engineering software on the market and have not partnered with a specific hardware vendor since the early 90s. This is news.

    • I love your style. Fight slashvertisement with slashvertisement.
    • Wow, talk about a blatant slashvertisement. As the summary states, it's not at all unusual for CAD/CAM software to ally with hardware so what exactly is the news for nerds here??

      Speak for yourself. For me, this is interesting news that I want to know and would not have otherwise heard about.

      • by morrison (40043)

        I never purported to speak for anyone else. My point was as stated -- that this isn't really geek nerd news. It's very much par for the course within the CAD industry. Hell, it's par for most big-industry fields these days, especially graphics-related ones.

        The fact that Pro/E is jumping on a bandwagon says more about the wagon than the band. Understandably will be interesting to some people, but then so is the kid-got-shot-in-florida topic and it misses the target just as much.

        • Let's see. AMD, CAD, Pro/ENGINEER, GPU, wireframe rendering... Yup, pretty much spot-on geek nerd news. Or do you think the non-geek world would actually find this interesting?
          • by morrison (40043)

            Let's see. AMD, CAD, Pro/ENGINEER, GPU, wireframe rendering... Yup, pretty much spot-on geek nerd news. Or do you think the non-geek world would actually find this interesting?

            Geek nerd topics, sure. Just not newsworthy. No more newsworthy than it would be to announce that Linux runs on AMD64. It's expectedbecause it's the smart thing to do. Pro/E is just behind the curve on this one. Most of the other CAD companies are already in bed with hardware optimizations. Still doesn't make it newsworthy though (did I miss a free Linux port or something? conversion to open source? those would be news!).

            • I never purported to speak for anyone else. My point was as stated -- that this isn't really geek nerd news.

              Understandably will be interesting to some people,

              Geek nerd topics, sure. Just not newsworthy.

              This isn't news to you. It is interesting and newsworthy to me, and apparently, to some other people as well. [slashdot.org] But you replied to that post, apparently not quite comprehending it. I reiterate what he said:

              Speak for yourself. For me, this is interesting news that I want to know and would not have otherwise heard about.

              I agree with him completely. If you're not interested in this article, why don't you read and comment in another thread, one which you find interesting and newsworthy, instead of trying to convince us that this one isn't so.

              • by morrison (40043)

                This isn't news to you. It is interesting and newsworthy to me[snip]

                I would think that goes without saying; of course I only speak for myself. Defensive much? Shill? Trolling? I'll bite. I was commenting on how I perceive it (frankly as a paid-for posting) given the article's lack of content. Everyone's entitled to an opinion and fortunately we don't even have to agree on that point.

                I agree with him completely. If you're not interested in this article, why don't you read and comment in another thread, one which you find interesting and newsworthy, instead of trying to convince us that this one isn't so.

                Great, more power to you. I'm not trying to convince you of anything, contrary to your claim, but just replying to a thread I started. If it bothers you that much, you're just as welcome

                • Considering how insistent you've been about how this article isn't newsworthy, despite 2 posters telling you otherwise, and despite the fact that "interesting" and "newsworthy" are completely subjective, you continue to fire back. The graceful response would have been something along the lines of: "Apparently, other geeks/nerds find this article worthwhile. I stand corrected." Simply not replying would have been just fine. But you seem to have issues about being corrected and just have to have the last say.
                  • by morrison (40043)

                    Apparently, other geeks/nerds find this article worthwhile. They're idiots or ignorant at best. :)

                    As you note, posters feeling otherwise is completely subjective (as is my view) and serves no basis of demonstrating right or wrong. It's purely anecdotal. As for why I respond, this is just an entertaining discussion on a topic I live, work, and breathe. Of course, I'll keep engaging in the discussion I started as long as I find it interesting to do so. I do not, however, see it as an argument or debate wh

                    • Apparently, other geeks/nerds find this article worthwhile. They're idiots or ignorant at best. :)

                      Ah yes, the old "their opinion differs from mine, therefore they must be stupid" line. Ok, you win. You're the smartest, rightest, bestest, geekest nerd on Slashdot. Your mother must be so proud. Have a cookie.</sarcasm>

                      This non-conversation is going nowhere, which usually happens when one of the participants is incapable of self-criticism and has a need to impose his worldview on others to validate his fragile ego and sense of self worth. Here's a tip. It's actually ok to be wrong sometimes, and it's

            • No more newsworthy than it would be to announce that Linux runs on AMD64.

              Don't be an ass. Linux on AMD64 was huge news, especially as it was years before Microsoft and helped cement AMD's instruction set as the standard.

              • by morrison (40043)

                No more newsworthy than it would be to announce that Linux runs on AMD64.

                Don't be an ass. Linux on AMD64 was huge news, especially as it was years before Microsoft and helped cement AMD's instruction set as the standard.

                How's that being an ass? It was huge news. It wouldn't be if it were a headline posted today. We'd be asking what took so long, what were they waiting for. Adopting it after all your competitors doesn't make for news. It makes for shaking a little "me too" rattle. Good for PTC, but good grief. I expect more from billion dollar companies, which is what makes open source development all that more interesting a topic.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      what's amazing is that they don't z-sort the stuff before drawing on cards which don't support this new tech. I suspect that it does it in the drivers.. ONLY ON SELECTED CARDS. it's a fucking ripoff and the rendering pipeline of their cad program seems to be teh suck?

      • by morrison (40043)

        That is a little cool actually, at least from a technical perspective. Z-sorting in code sucks big time. But yeah, it also sucks requiring specific hardware, the absolute latest drivers just to run, and without any backwards or hardware compatibility support. For the cost, they should be giving out free back rubs.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Wow, talk about a blatant slashvertisement. As the summary states, it's not at all unusual for CAD/CAM software to ally with hardware so what exactly is the news for nerds here??

      This particular slashvertisement is designed to make ATI owners feel good about their purchase because their hardware will finally accelerate something other than a game, even though they'll never actually run it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now if PTC would invest in a more intuitive UI...
    I would nominate Pro/E 5 (last version before Creo) as worst UI ever.

    • by MiG82au (2594721)
      OK, it's an FEA mesher and post-processor, but have you ever used Patran? I have a hard time believing that ProE has a worse UI. I think it's industry standard because it's consistently bad from version to version LOL.
    • by Bruinwar (1034968)

      As a Product Designer that has used Pro for 12 years now I couldn't agree with you more. Fucking marketing pukes decide that MS ribbon interface is the FUTURE & they take Wildfire 4.0 (which is one of the BEST UIs in CAD) & move all the commands haphazardly to the ribbon. What is really funny is the pukes renamed Wildfire 5.0 Creo 1.0! I've heard Creo 2.0 is much better but we shall see.

      IMO Marketing pukes are the bane of all tech based businesses.

      • by cynyr (703126)

        does pro/e have a script-able cmd line? That is something i've always liked about autocad, and missed when I moved to solidoworks (just about the only thing I missed).

  • It was the late 90's. PTC's salesmen lied to us through their teeth about what Pro/Engineer could do and how stable it was. "Yeah, it can do sheet metal!". Two million dollars and god knows how many man hours wasted. Just thrown away.

    And it wasn't just us, it seemed they'd f*cked lots of businesses. At least the mid-sized ones I knew of. But no one wanted to admit they'd been had, or sue them.

    I'm sure PTC is better now, and the sales people never lie to anyone. Why look, they even changed the name of t
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      well if your dumb enough to ask such a vague question and base your purchase on a 6 word response then you got what you wanted didn't you?

      sheet metal? what material, thickness and quality? You were too stupid to ask the correct question(s), and somehow its not your fault, what was your companies name? just so I can be sure to avoid any mystical hand magic powers of engineering ...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Somehow I think you're confusing the off-hand relation of a situation with actual testimony of the lie.

        The sales pitches were more involved, but you don't need to hear them to get the sentiment.

      • by PJ6 (1151747)

        well if your dumb enough to ask such a vague question and base your purchase on a 6 word response then you got what you wanted didn't you?

        You honestly believe the decision was made like that? And who said I made it?

        sheet metal? what material, thickness and quality?

        Duh, all and any.

        You were too stupid to ask the correct question(s), and somehow its not your fault, what was your companies name? just so I can be sure to avoid any mystical hand magic powers of engineering ...

        What is your problem? If you're going to troll at least do it as an anonymous coward.

        • by cynyr (703126)

          sheet metal? what material, thickness and quality?

          Duh, all and any.

          so everything from the foil wrap on the satilites, to 3/4" plate then? from steel to Ti to Inconel right? see your "all and any" is a bit broad don't you think?

          • by PJ6 (1151747)

            sheet metal? what material, thickness and quality?

            Duh, all and any.

            so everything from the foil wrap on the satilites, to 3/4" plate then? from steel to Ti to Inconel right? see your "all and any" is a bit broad don't you think?

            You're attempting to engage in a discussion on a subject you obviously know nothing about. It makes you look stupid.

            And now I look stupid, too, for responding to a troll's sock puppet.

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      sheet metal module could be put to good use, but the amount of training was fearsome. Pro/E was stable on Solaris 2.x and Ultrasparc. -- former manager of CADD/CAM/CAE group
  • Same ProE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:47PM (#39697503) Homepage

    Same ProE that dropped Linux support out of the blue (but kept Solaris, so it's not a matter of development effort, Unix or platform popularity)?

    gg assholes!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Before they changed the name ("Creo"? Really?) away from the extremely well established Pro/ENGINEER branding, they had a personal use license for $250. I just came up with a use for it (interesting timing for this announcement), and now I don't see this option available.
    I did find the student license, but I'm not a student and the requirements are quite clear and specific - and I don't meet them.
    I also found the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express for free (up to 60 parts, which suits my needs), but this

  • OIT isn't that new. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ikekrull (59661) on Monday April 16, 2012 @10:05AM (#39699819) Homepage

    Note: I'm no expert in this area, this is just some stuff I have picked up along with a basic understanding of how these techniques are employed. There may be inaccuracies or incomplete information, corrections welcome.

    OIT is one area that modern graphics hardware really struggles with - A software render can just go ahead and allocate memory dynamically to keep track of the depth value and the colour of each fragment that contributes to a pixel's final colour in a list, but on a 'traditional' GPU, the big problem is that you have no easy way to store anything more than a single 'current' colour per pixel that will get irreversibly blended or overwritten by fragments with a lower depth value, and even if you could keep a list of them, you have no associated depth values, and nor do you have a simple way to sort them on the GPU. However, there is some clever trickery detailed below:

    Realtime OIT has been researched and published on (notably by Nvidia and Microsoft) for over a decade.

    Heres the basic technique - 'Depth Peeling', from 2001:

    http://developer.nvidia.com/system/files/akamai/gamedev/docs/order_independent_transparency.pdf?download=1

    Depth peeling renders the scene multiple times with successive layers of transparent geometry removed, front to back, to build up an ordered set of buffers which can be combined to give a final pixel value.

    This technique has severe performance penalties, but the alternative (z-sort all transparent polygons every frame) is much, much worse.

    'Dual Depth Peeling' - from 2008:

    http://developer.download.nvidia.com/SDK/10.5/opengl/src/dual_depth_peeling/doc/DualDepthPeeling.pdf

    This works in much the same way, but is able to store samples from multiple layers of geometry each rendering pass ,using MRT (multiple render targets), and a shader-based sort on the contents of the buffers, speeding the technique up a lot.

    Refinements to the DDP technique, cutting out another pass - from 2010:

    http://developer.nvidia.com/sites/default/files/akamai/gamedev/files/sdk/11/ConstantMemoryOIT.pdf

    Reverse depth peeling was developed where memory was at a premium - which extracts the layers back-to-front for immediate blending into an output buffer instead of extracting, sorting and blending, and it is also possible to abuse the hardware used for antialiasing to store multiple samples per output pixel.

    Depth peeling really only works well for a few layers of transparent objects, unless you can afford a lot of passes per pixel, but in many situations, it is unlikely that the contribution of transparent surfaces behind the first 4 or so transparent surfaces means much in terms of visual quality.

    AMDs 'new' approach involves implementing a full linked-list style A-buffer and a separate sorting pass using the GPU - this has only been possible with pretty recent hardware, and I guess is 'the right way' to do OIT, very much the same as a software renderer on a CPU would do it.

    Heres some discussion and implementation of these techniques:

    http://www.yakiimo3d.com/2010/07/19/dx11-order-independent-transparency/

    This really isn't anything new, single-pass OIT using CUDA for fragment accumulation and sort was presented at Siggraph 2009 - nor is it something PTS can claim as their own. Its possible AMDs FirePros have special support for A-buffer creation and sorting, which is why they run fast, and AMD in general has a pretty big advantage in raw GPGPU speed for many operations (let down by their awful driver support on non-windows platforms, of course) - but really any GPU that has the ability to define and access custom-structured buffers will be able to perform this kind of task, and given NVidia's long history researching and publishing on this subject, its pretty laughable that AMD and PTS can claim it is their new hotness.

  • by Kevin Burtch (13372) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:43AM (#39700587)

    (I just realized I accidentally posted A/C last night... reposting while logged in)

    Before they changed the name ("Creo"? Really?) away from the extremely well established Pro/ENGINEER branding, they had a personal use license for $250. I just came up with a use for it (interesting timing for this announcement), and now I don't see this option available.
    I did find the student license, but I'm not a student and the requirements are quite clear and specific - and I don't meet them.
    I also found the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express for free (up to 60 parts, which suits my needs), but this doesn't appear to be the same software. Does anyone know if this still has the "sketcher" to rough draft the profile of the 3D parts? (I'll have to build a MS machine to even test it out - doubt it runs in Wine).

    Granted, the last time I used Pro/E was ~1994 (on Solaris) and the UI has changed dramatically at least twice since then, so I'll have to re-learn it anyways.
    I actually liked the original UI... when they changed it to meet Microsoft's requirements (when they first offered it on MS windows), I thought it was a horrible turn to an inefficient design. Don't get me wrong, I understand the reasoning (make it "familiar" to windows users), but the change made it much less efficient to use even though the learning curve was shallower.

    Yes, I agree with other postings, it's a shame they dropped Linux support.
    I just googled "3d cad linux" and the top advertisement is titled "3D CAD Linux - Flexible, Easy-To-Use Application | PTC.com" with a link to www.ptc.com/Free-Download, which leads you to download 2 options, 32bit and 64bit windows software. That's kind of a dirty advert method for a company as well established as PTC...

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