Interactive 3D Streaming by Alexander Sterkin

Second Life® and World of Warcraft® are among the most prominent MMOGs. They demand lots of computing power – both from the CPU and Graphics. These demands overload any mobile device of today or near future, even including MIDs. By the time the mobile clients have caught up, the performance requirements for MMOGs will grow higher yet.

The 3D Streaming technology developed by Comverse® and Intel computes and renders the MMOG content on a powerful backend server, then smartly compresses and streams the graphics onto a client. A network gateway designed by Comverse allows streaming over both WiMAX and 3G cellular networks. With advanced software optimizations including SSE usage, a single Xeon 5400 backend system can serve simultaneously up to 14 clients.

What does this mean for users of Intel platforms? In fact, the Comverse 3D Streaming capability offers a great user experience across all Intel platforms. On the backend, it’s the opportunity to offer the power of visual computing on high-end IA multicore platforms. On the client, it’s a chance to drive the demand for MIDs over non-IA smartphones by offering content better suited for larger screens and more sophisticated UI offered by MIDs. Overall, it’s a chance for telecom operators and content providers to offer a completely new service – running on the infrastructure that’s optimized for IA end-to-end.

Alexander Sterkin, Sr. SW Application Engineer in Intel’s Software & Solutions Group is based in Israel. The main focus of his work is providing technical training, consultation, and hands-on assistance to SW developers in areas of architecturing, technologies, support and influence of leading ISVs helping them deliver to the market product optimized for IA. Alexander holds Ph.D. degree from Weizmann Institute (Israel) in the field of Brain Research.

15 Responses to Interactive 3D Streaming by Alexander Sterkin

  1. Andrew says:

    WoW is dependent on latency, and therefore, adding additional hop(s) due to data traversing from the Warcraft server to another machine and then onto a mobile device will cause the game to be unplayable in reality. PvE Questing may be possible, but do not face me in PvP playing with this method. I will own you.

  2. Jeremy says:

    You probably won’t print this as it’s a negative from me. I have played Second Life for years and years and it’s very difficult to get any kind of good result even on state of the art hardware. The very thing that *doesn’t* work well with Second Life is the network streaming part, even a slight nano-second delay between one server and the next sends the game into a tailspin and network lag or “pulse lag” has been the bane of it’s existence since 2005 at least. This is a good idea and interesting in theory but there is simply no way this will work well. Second Life barely runs (and has huge network related lag), on my state of the art brand new computer with the fastest graphics card you can buy, 100G networking, and 10 gigs of double-buffered ram, but it’s going to work on a Nokia cellphone? Ridiculous.

  3. Den says:

    My friends and I discussed this “thin client for games” idea about 10 years ago, it’s cool to see it actually working.
    Something else to consider – let’s say you make a game with awesome graphics that even the most powerful PC can’t handle. If you can create a server farm to handle the rendering and then stream amazing hi-rez graphics to the user, that would be useful for any gaming application, mobile, console or PC.

  4. Alexander Sterkin says:

    To: Jeremy
    I would argue that Second Life runs that bad. In fact in that video I use a simple mainstream notebook. The better argument however would be that there are hundreds of thousands of people playing the game simultaneously – meaning they are happy with it. There is an indication that mobile service for SL is demanded. The bandwidth is definitely always an issue; however this is changing by WiMax coming into the world, not to forget other standards like 3G.
    But hey! This is not about Second Life – this story is about a concept of how to get use of a weak device while you need to deal with rich content – not necessarily a game. And you know the answer now – by having a strong server somewhere behind the scene.

  5. LorenK says:

    Alexander, great work! There are so many applications for this, it’s unreal. It might not be perfect for some games that are unforgiving of lag, but those are the kinds of examples that people understand.
    What kinds of non-game applications have you thought of?

  6. Brian says:

    This is great, but the application is too small. We have moved beyond computers in every home to networks in every home. I would love to have a power-house machine(s) hidden away in my house and use cheap “dumb” machines to access content including games and video streams. Lag you say… The added lag through a local high-speed in home network would be negligible compared to that already existing in your connection. Why apply this to just cellphones when you have a whole world of application including my home network? How soon can I get this installed at my house?

  7. adam says:

    could someone e-mail me the steps do get wow onto my iPhone and could you link the download for the software or the application? My e-mail is if someone could e-mail with that info that would be great.

  8. Torley Lives says:

    Nifty to hear about this — I was thinking of something similar when I noticed the Second Life-Vollee mobile client had WindLight clouds. And of course, then I remembered: advanced streaming technology. If latency can be minimized to a tolerable or barely noticeable degree, then I’d like to see more higher-end graphical experiences on lower-end compuers.
    Unlikely to happen with twitch shooters as noted above, but with more relaxedly-paced ones, I’m game.