Planes, trains, and automobiles

Virtual Reality on the FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 mobile workstation

Exploring colossal datasets in Virtual Reality on the FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 mobile workstation

When it comes to enterprise VR (Virtual Reality) it’s hard to think of a software application more powerful than IC.IDO from ESI Group. The industrial grade VR tool is used by some of the largest manufacturing firms in the world for virtually prototyping planes, trains, and automobiles in a fully immersive VR environment.

With this in mind, we thought there was no better candidate to test drive our powerful ‘VR Ready’ FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 mobile workstation, which features an NVIDIA Quadro P5000 graphics card. So, we lent one to our friends at ESI Group to push it to the absolute limits.

Using an HTC Vive Business Edition VR headset, the testing of our 17.3-inch laptop started with a complete Volkswagen Passat automotive engineering dataset, comprised of 10+ thousand CAD objects and 24+ million polygons, rendered realistically with simulated real-time interaction.

ESI Group had previously recommended its customers to only attempt to view this model in VR using a powerful desktop workstation with an NVIDIA Quadro M6000 or NVIDIA Quadro P6000 graphics card, so this was a big test for our nimble machine.

Impressively, it took everything in its stride, delivering good rendering performance consistently above 60 Frames Per Second (FPS), a frame rate that ESI Group considers reasonable for walking pace in VR. Importantly, ESI Group’s Eric Kam said the wearer of the VR headset should not have significant latency or lag, which can ruin Virtual Reality experiences with motion sickness.

ESI Group Bombardier
Talent2 train courtesy of Bombardier


Swapping cars for trains, Eric Kam upped the ante considerably with a huge multi-carriage model of a Bombardier Talent 2 with 50+ thousand CAD objects and 166+ million polygons. The sheer size of the raw engineering dataset has traditionally made models like this almost impossible to view in immersive VR, even on the most powerful multi-GPU desktop workstations. However, thanks to new Occlusion Culling technology, Single-Pass stereo, and the rendering framework implemented inside IC.IDO 11.2, this can now be a reality.

Occlusion culling works by only rendering the part of the model that is visible to the user at any point in time. When viewing the exterior of the Bombardier train, for example, much of the interior does not need to be rendered, significantly reducing the load on the GPU.

Remarkably, our FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 passed this test with flying colours

Eric Kam said he was very impressed that the laptop was able to handle such a hefty model and that the performance was ‘pretty spectacular’, even earning IC.IDO an invitation to SIGGRAPH’17 to present it in NVIDIA’s best of GTC stage, showcasing the NVIDIA VRWorks power capabilities. Viewing such a model in VR on a mobile workstation would not have even been conceivable a year ago.

Of course, all of this is fantastic news for manufacturing firms. It means they no longer have to make so many compromises by simplifying colossal engineering datasets for review in VR. And, importantly, they can take a virtual prototype of the products wherever they want, without having to carry a heavy desktop workstation.

We are obviously extremely happy with ESI Group’s findings, but we acknowledge that the FUJITSU CELSIUS R970 might not satisfy the VR requirements of every manufacturing firm – especially those who push the boundaries with even more complex datasets displayed at higher visual fidelity. If your workflows do demand a more powerful machine don’t forget we also offer a range of desktop workstations, including the ultra-high-end FUJITSU CELSIUS R970, which can take – with its R970power model – up to three NVIDIA Quadro P6000 graphics cards.

See a video of Eric Kam’s experiences with the FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 mobile workstation in IC.IDO


See here the Review: Fujitsu Celsius H970 with IC.IDO 11.2 from Eric Kam on YouTube.

Find out more about the FUJITSU CELSIUS H970 mobile workstation and Virtual Reality.

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