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    5 March 2005

    ECR exhibit: CPU vs GPU for workstation graphics processing (????)

    3mensio is a workstation company founded by Frank Wessels, who is one of the co-founders of Applicare (who originally made RadWorks, which we still use for teleradiology to our neurosurgery centre).

    According to what he told me, current 3D workstations (Vitrea, Voxar, Leonardo, etc) utilise the computer's central processing unit, or CPU (e.g. Pentium Processor) for graphics processing. The 3mensio workstation, 3viseon (sic), utilises the graphics processing unit, or GPU, which I understand to be the graphics card. These need to be cheap because they are made for kids to play games with, so that the computer used for the workstation can also be very cheap (about $1000) . It then becomes feasible for orthopaedic and vascular surgeons to have a 3D workstations in their offices (and radiologists too, of course).

    You read the abstract from the ECR presentation here

    I really am not in a position to assess the technical side of things, but I had a play with the workstation, running on a standard PC with about 1G of RAM, and it was pretty good, and fast.

    It makes you wonder
    (a) why the other manufacturers have not adopted the same approach, if it is feasible
    (b) why Nintendo have not diversified into the medical imaging sector

    Worth keeping an eye on, I think.

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