NAB: DreamWorks Animation, AMD Strike Pact

At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, DreamWorks Animation SKG announced that it has named AMD its preferred processor provider. The three-year strategic alliance will see the animation house employ the 64-bit AMD Opteron processor with direct connect architecture for its next-generation enterprise servers, workstations, render farm nodes, enterprise desktops and enterprise laptops.

The agreement also entitles AMD to use DreamWorks’ animated characters in marketing efforts. In addition, the two companies will work together in promoting upcoming film and home video releases.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg comments, “The benefits of working with AMD have already had a substantial impact on our business, which is why selecting them as our preferred processor provider and building a strong partnership makes sense. AMD technology will bring new levels of detail and new capabilities to our animated feature films.”

Boasting the power of its Opteron processor, AMD cites a scene in the upcoming DreamWorks feature, Madagascar (May 27), which contains more than 900 moving creatures, the largest crowd of furry animal characters assembled in a CG film to date. The company says the faster rendering times and increased memory bandwidth allowed the DreamWorks team to meet the challenge of coping with fur on such a massive level.

The AMD pact builds on the technology partnership DreamWorks struck with HP in 2001. In addition to expanding its AMD and HP-based render farms, DreamWorks Animation is also utilizing the AMD Opteron processor-based HP xw9300 Workstation, a system that is enabled for the upcoming AMD64 dual core technology.