Archive for the ‘Display Wall’ Category

Equalizer 0.6 released!

3. December 2008

Here is the release announcement:

Scalable Display System

We are pleased to announce the release of Equalizer 0.6, a major advance in parallel OpenGL rendering, supporting:

  • Automatic 2D and DB load-balancing
  • DPlex (time-multiplex) compounds
  • Paracomp compositing backend

Please check the release notes on the Equalizer website for a comprehensive list of new features, enhancements, optimizations and bug fixes. The Programming Guide can be ordered at

We would like to thank all individuals and parties who have contributed to the development of Equalizer 0.6.

About RTT Scale

RTT Scale is the new scalability module for RTT’s leading high-end visualisation software suite RTT DeltaGen. The module is to be integrated into the forthcoming Version 8.5. RTT Scale uses Equalizer 0.6 to boost OpenGL and ray-tracing performance on highly realistic, complex scenes. Please visit for more information.

About Equalizer

Equalizer is the standard middleware to create parallel OpenGL-based applications. It enables applications to benefit from multiple graphics cards, processors and computers to scale rendering performance, visual quality and display size. Please visit for more information.

Commercial support, custom software development and porting services are available from Eyescale Software GmbH. Please contact for further information.

Image copyright Realtime Technology AG, 2008.

New Poll, Equalizer 0.6 release coming

14. November 2008

I’ve just tagged the release candidate for the upcoming 0.6 release. You can get the release notes here.

Since the blogflux polls are broken for some time and to celebrate the new release, I’ve also created a new poll. Here it is:

Equalizer in Action

15. October 2008

In the near future there are two events where you can get a live Equalizer demonstration.

The first one is IEEE Vis next week in Columbus, OHIO. Max from the University of Zurich will give demonstrations in the Interactive Demonstrations Lab.

The second one is Siggraph Asia in December, where Renato Pajarola is contributing to the Interactive Massive Model Rendering course.

Feel free to pass by and talk to us!

Parallel Rendering Videos – Multi-Display

5. August 2008

Again a new video, this time showing various examples of multi-display setups supported by Equalizer, with a fancy scalable 2×2 stereo configuration at the end:

New Equalizer Poll

15. July 2008

I’ve created a new poll to get a feeling which scenegraph integration is most wanted in Equalizer.

We’ve like to get a feeling where the biggest need is to port scene-graph based OpenGL applications to multi-GPU systems and visualization clusters.

Unfortunately I can’t embed the poll in this posting, so just weasel over to the Equalizer website and take the poll there!

If you have any input or don’t find your scene graph listed, just leave a comment below.

Two Methods for driving OpenGL Display Walls

7. July 2008

Recently the the VMML at the University of Zürich performed a benchmark comparing Chromium and Equalizer on a display wall. The result surprised me, as I would have expected less difference between the two solutions in this setup, since only static display lists are used. Unfortunately neither InfiniBand nor the broadcast SPU were available for this test, which should improve the Chromium performance.

The performance graph is on the left. You can download the White Paper from the Equalizer website.

Release early, Release often

16. May 2008

In this spirit, we’ve just started doing more regular developer releases. Version 0.5.1 is the first one, with the following new features:

– Statistics Overlay to understand and eliminate bottlenecks in the rendering pipeline
– Support for using Paracomp as a compositing backend, see README.paracomp
– Network-based instead of file-based model distribution in eqPly
– Support for the window swapsync hint on WGL

Full release notes are available at:


Parallel Rendering Timeline

16. May 2008

Parallel Rendering Timeline
On the right there’s a simple timeline of the most important toolkits for parallel rendering, naturally with more details for Equalizer.
I plan to extend this over time, and maybe even creating one with the major hardware milestones.
Any input is welcome – Skywriter VGXT, anyone? 😉

Equalizer 0.5 released

17. April 2008

As promised, here is the release of Equalizer 0.5:

A Three-to-One Pixel Decomposition

We are pleased to announce the release of Equalizer 0.5, a framework for the development and deployment of parallel OpenGL applications. Equalizer 0.5 adds a number of features to increase the scalability, most notably pixel compounds for fill-rate-bound applications and a 2-4x performance increase during sort-last compositing. The Programming Guide has been extended to 43 pages and covers various new topics. Preview the content and order your hardcopy today at!

Equalizer 0.5 now uses GLEW to provide easy-to-use OpenGL extension handling in parallel OpenGL applications. The new support for off-screen PBuffers on all platforms opens new use cases for Equalizer-based applications, for example seamless integration for scalability on multi-GPU workstations. Where available, image compression during network transfer has been accelerated using OpenMP.

The full release notes for version 0.5 are available at

Commercial support, custom software development and porting services are available from Eyescale Software GmbH. Please contact for further information.

Carbon and thread-safety

15. August 2007

The last weeks I have spend some hours here and there to finalize the Carbon/AGL support in Equalizer.

The tricky thing is that Carbon is not thread safe for the functions Equalizer is using. The common consensus is that you should create your windows in the main thread and then fire off your (OpenGL) rendering threads.

Unfortunately I can’t do this in Equalizer, since it already has an established convention on initializing the windows in the rendering threads. Fair enough – global mutex around all window creation and destruction! Err, no, because ReceiveNextEvent is also not thread safe with the window creation calls. And of course ReceiveNextEvent wants to be called from the main thread. Ok, so also protect ReceiveNextEvent? Well, almost – you have to make sure that it doesn’t block indefinitely while holding the mutex.

So what do we end up with? The knowledge that Carbon is the least thread safe window system used by Equalizer, an event loop which polls every 50ms, a serialized window creation which has to wait up to 50ms for each window init, and an API to disable event ‘pumping’ in Equalizer.

Well, I hope the NSGL/Cocoa integration will be less hacky :-/