This course is concerned with the high performance computing tools for multimedia applications historically ranging from the cluster ray‐trace rendering of early 80’s to the today strict requirements for near real time applications walking throw the amazing techniques of elastic transcoding needed by the upcoming mobile devices provided by tridimensional cameras.
The high performance computing usually referred as HPC is provided by a floating formal definition that could
sound as “the most up-to-date technology achieving the best computing results”. Thanks to this philosophically-powered definition we could
state the Babbage machine, if ever build, was the Victorian equivalent of today BlueGene. The technology related to the HPC field changed
many times in the last few years: symmetric multi processors, distributed memory computing clusters, clusters of many-‐core
provided nodes, general purpose GPUs, hieratical parallelism, grid and cloud computing. Stepping over the hype of each technology today is
more difficult explain what is not HPC thank what it is.
In the field of multimedia application the HPC technologies play the same role of special effects in movies: as better as not visible. Todays HPC technologies permits the near real time responsiveness needed in the business of multimedia applications. The rise of the pervasive and ubiquitous access to multimedia contents and the need to contribute to them increased the need of distributed high performance multimedia computing.