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Game Developers See Promise in Cloud Computing, but Some Are Skeptical

AMD's Fusion Render Cloud supercomputer has prompted game developers to consider a new platform

3 min read

3 March 2009—Amid all the noise at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, video-game developers heard the siren call of a new frontier. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the Sunnyvale, Calif.–based microprocessor manufacturer, and the Sherman Oaks, Calif.–based graphics software maker Otoy announced what they claimed will be the world’s fastest graphics supercomputer: the AMD Fusion Render Cloud.

AMD chief executive officer Dirk Meyer promised that the technology, which will begin beta testing by this summer, will ”break the one-petaflop barrier and...process a million compute threads across more than 1000 graphics processors.” When running Otoy’s software, gamers will have an intense payoff: high-definition three-dimensional graphics that can be rendered on a high performance computer and then streamed in real time online. Otoy CEO Jules Urbach, whose company has provided effects for such films as Transformers, says the software will empower developers to create a ”playable video game that has the quality of movies and runs on a Web page.”

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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